As often happens in my kitchen, random circumstances are what give rise to this or that dish. In this case in particular: the fact that my fridge contained two of those beautiful little pumpkins, 1 to 1,5 kg each, and that , coincidentally, I had just been reading Confort me with Apples, by Ruth Reichl - you know, the one from Gourmet Magazine. (by the way, lovely little book, light entertainment peppered with the occasional recipe - a bit 'Sex in the City' foody version ...).
One of the recipes contained in this book I was intrigued enough to want to try, even if a little revisited as my usual. Reichl called it 'Swiss Pumpkin' because she uses Emmenthal. But I must confess that in spite of being profoundly omnivorous, that is the one and only cheese I've never liked. Hence, out goes the Emmenthal and in comes the Bitto (uh, uh, Italian cheese, don't know how widely available elsewhere. But try perhaps a medium Cheddar). A discreet reduction in the amount of cream indicated, and here we go ...
The result was a well calibrated single course meal, quite appropriate for this tail-end of winter when, despite the sunny days, the evenings still turn pretty chilly.
After all, you know, when it comes to pumpkin, the Americans are masters ....
Ingredients - serves 2 people as a single course meal
2 round pumpkins, about 1kg each
a few slices from a french baguette
150g Bitto chees sliced 2mm thick
salt and pepper
Cut the tops to the two pumpkins and dig out the seeds and filaments. Fill the insides of each with 2 layers of bread and cheese. In a bowl, whisk the eggs with the milk, cream, salt, pepper and nutmeg. Distribute this inside the two pumpkins. Cover them with their tops and bake at 180 degrees for about 1 hour. Serve straight to the table.
Very easy, and it is always quite fun to be digging directly from inside the pumpkin ...