Whole Pumpkin Baked with Cream and Cheese

Whole Baked Pumpkin - Top

One thing that can go wrong with baked whole pumpkins is incinerating it into mush. Filled with cream and Gruyère cheese, you’ll know when the pumpkin is overcooked. It will likely collapse into a deflated mound of white and orange laced with strings of melted Gruyère. The semi-successful dish will still be delicious, as long as the cream spills into a baking dish instead of the oven floor.

That’s my long-winded way of saying that you can’t mess this non-recipe up.

The pumpkin top is sliced off to serve as its own lid and the structural integrity of the baked pumpkin depends on the carving method. Instead of cutting off the tops horizontally in one stroke, use a narrow pointed knife and slice around the stem at a 45 degree angle. Just don’t forget to watch those fingers.

recipe adapted from Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s River Cottage Cookbook
Monthly Mingle: Sensational Sides hosted by Ruth’s Kitchen Experiments

Whole Pumpkin Baked with Cream and Gruyère Cheese

makes 4 to 6 servings

Whole Baked Pumpkin - Gruyere Cheese

a pumpkin weighing about 2 pounds
Gruyère cheese or any melting cheese, up to 1 pound
a few cups of cream
Freshly grated nutmeg, to taste
Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
a knob of butter

Notes:

  • A 2-pound pumpkin is about the same size as a cantaloupe.
  • Use smaller individual-sized pumpkins and adjust the baking time accordingly.
  • Don’t throw away the pumpkin seeds. Rinse off the pulp and spread out the pumpkin seeds on a half sheet pan in a single layer . Bake along with the filled pumpkin for about 30 minutes, or until browned and crispy. Toasted pumpkin seeds can be eaten whole.

Instructions:

Preheat the oven to 375ºF/191ºC.

Using a narrow pointed knife, slice around the stem of the pumpkin at a 45-degree angle. Scoop out pulp and seeds. Fill the pumpkin with grated Gruyère cheese until about a third full.

Whole Baked Pumpkin - Filled with Cheese

Fill the pumpkin with cream until about two-thirds full. Season with salt, pepper, and nutmeg. Throw in a knob of butter, because we all know that pumpkins and butter always pair well.

Whole Baked Pumpkin - Filled with Cream and Butter

Replace the pumpkin top. The filled pumpkin is now ready to bake.

Whole Baked Pumpkin - Covered

Bake at 375ºF/191ºC for about 45 minutes to 1 1/4 hours, until tender and spoonable. Check the pumpkins for doneness by removing the lid and poking it with a knife or skewer.

Whole Baked Pumpkin - Side

To Serve:

Scoop out the pumpkin flesh with the cream and cheese into warmed soup bowls. Serve piping hot.

Whole Baked Pumpkin - Spooned
Witch’s brew, now with 400% more calories!

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40 Responses to “Whole Pumpkin Baked with Cream and Cheese”

  1. magpie says:

    Oh My Gosh. This looks fantastic. I love pumpkin recipes. I bought a pumpkin to cook with the other day but it’s humongous, so I might have to figure out a way to modify this… but what a fantastic idea. And definitely a sure way to impress guests. Haha, I just showed Bobby (my sweetie) and he thinks we should just make it with the HUGE pumpkin.

    Have a great night :)

  2. Audax Artifex says:

    What a great post excellent photos and information this would be a great winter recipe. It is hot and dry in Sydney now and will try this in the colder months. Yours Audax

  3. Caitlin says:

    Oh dear lord that looks decadently delicious. I’m afraid I’ll have to try this with a small pumpkin, or else you’re paying for my membership in weight watchers. Yikes :)

  4. Rosa says:

    Mmmhhh, how scrumptious! A great combination of yummy ingredients…

    Cheers,

    Rosa

  5. Tom Aarons says:

    Yum. And I’m looking at it thinking it would be great as a kind of fondue pot, with little bits of bread on sticks! Or is that just too 1974? :)

  6. grace says:

    well darn. this is even better than the brioche (and a lot less work). bravo!

  7. kat says:

    OMG this is just a little bit of cheesy pumpkin heaven!

  8. snookydoodle says:

    wow what a nice idea and great photos :)

  9. Mike says:

    wow that looks so good! I will have try that epically with pumpkin season soon to be in high gear!

    I have recently launched a site called peoplemd.com. You can find all sorts of great information on everything from healthy recipes to information on breast cancer and so much more! Our users save their favorite health sites and share them with everyone. I think you guys would like it.

  10. sweetbird says:

    Helloooo Jude! You had me at Gruyère…

    I think I may attempt this with Jack-Be-Littles and serve in-pumpkin. Or maybe just some real little sugar pumpkins.

    Oooh! I’m excited.

  11. Ben says:

    I love pumpkin but I’ve never baked one before. This recipe looks like a good one to start, but I am afraid I am going to mess it up :-p

  12. Nate says:

    the cream looks like it’s higher in the squash than when you started. Is that because the pumpkin deflated?

  13. DocChuck says:

    WOW . . . that is SO creative.

    Gotta try it this weekend!

    DocChuck

  14. Ruth E says:

    This looks delicious!!!! A great entry to the mingle, thank you!

  15. Susan from Food Blogga says:

    This is a sensational idea! I have made squash bowls for soup but never attempted a pumpkin. And your filling sounds so rich and delicious. If only I could taste it now….

  16. Thanks for dropping by guys!

    Magpie – Hope you don’t short circuit your oven if the huge pumpkin collapses.

    Tom – I was thinking of fondue myself but didn’t have the other cheeses.

    Sweetbird – Pumpkins the size of softballs would be perfect for individual servings.

    Nate – The bottom was flattening as I clicked away. So yeah it just wanted to get eaten.

    Ruth – Can’t waut for the roundup!

  17. Life Chef says:

    Beautiful post! Stunning photos and mouthwatering results. That’s some gorgeous/sexy food right there! And possibly the best use of pumpkin I’ve seen. Cheesy yummy goodness…

  18. Andrea says:

    Wow, I’ve always wanted to try baking something in a whole gourd (seriously, I have). I wonder if you could use it as a kind of make-shift fondu pot. That’s what I thought of when I saw gruyère. Sorry, don’t mean to be thinking out loud in your comments section. Looks great as always!

  19. noobcook says:

    omg this is so pretty!! And so perfect for halloween too! ^o^

  20. Carm says:

    OMG that looks soooooo indulgent! Just divine…

  21. Jeff says:

    Wow that sounds and looks amazing. Plus beats the heck out of a bread bowl anyday of the week.

    This is not directed at you but I can’t honestly look at whole pumpkins dishes anymore without laughing about Hell’s Kitchen last year where the guy did the poultry baked in a pumpkin.

  22. Mike says:

    This sounds like such a delicious dish and I love the presentation. Heck, you won me over at cheese–the rest is a (very big) bonus. ;-) I also really like the plated photo with the pumpkin lid slightly askew

  23. Squawkfox says:

    Wow! Stunning photography. Thank you for mentioning me in this delicious post. Just added you to my RSS. :D

  24. Kevin says:

    Pumpkin baked with cheese sounds really good!

  25. Elizabeth - Cake or Death? says:

    These pictures are really making me wish that I liked baked pumpkin! Cheese, cream, butter…what’s not to love?

  26. Meeta says:

    Oh my Jude! This is a delicious dish! All I need is some garlic bread for dipping!

  27. Lydia (The Perfect Pantry) says:

    Great idea! I’ve served soup in hollowed-out pumpkins, but never a creamy cheesy filling. Thanks for the recipe.

  28. Niall Harbison says:

    That is a lovely recipe. I have seen plenty of recipes where you put the soup back in the pumpkin but good to see that you have xpanded on that! The cheese being in there is also a nice touch!

  29. Kelly says:

    Woweee! Tried this this evening, and apart from being able to hear my cholesterol level skyrocketing – it was fabulous!

    Am toying with the idea of adding a dash of white wine next time… just to freshen it up a touch :-) Ok and to booze it up a touch. What do you think?

  30. Jaci says:

    The recipe sounds great, it seems like a fondue, I think veggies and breads would be great dipped in it. I was looking for a soup recipe baked in the pumpkin. I had heard of one many years ago, I know it had chicken stock as well as the cream and cheese. I will adapt this recipe with stock, some veggies and spices and see how it works. White wine has been used in other fondue and soup recipes, could be incorporated in this as well. It’s fun to experiment! Jaci

  31. Ana Powell says:

    I love this recipe and I wish to cook it but I have a few questions as I am a bit confused.

    Your instructions:
    “Rinse off the pulp and spread out the pumpkin seeds on a half sheet pan in a single layer . Bake along with the filled pumpkin for about 30 minutes, or until browned and crispy.”
    “Scoop out pulp and seeds. Fill the pumpkin with grated Gruyère cheese until about a third full.”
    “Scoop out the pumpkin flesh with the cream and cheese into warmed soup bowls. Serve piping hot.”

    My questions:
    What do you actually do to the pumpkin pulp?
    Do you roast it together with the pumpkin, ie in or out of pumpkin?
    At what stage do you add the pulp back into the pumpkin to scoop it out with the cream and cheese before serving?
    Or you do not use the flesh at all and the soup is just cream, cheese, grated nutmeg, to taste ,salt, pepper, to taste and a knob of butter?

    Many thanks
    Ana Powell

  32. Janet Magnuson says:

    Ana,
    The pulp is the gooey stuff that sits inside the hollow of the pumpkin with the seeds. Rinse it off the seeds and throw it away. The “flesh” is the actual pumpkin meat – the hard lighter colored part just under the darker skin. It bakes along with the cheesy mix – when you scoop out the cheese mix just dig into the meat a little to scoop it out.
    This recipe does sound wonderful!

  33. Xzigalia says:

    I was blown away at how delicious this was. Mine unfortunately seeped out the top but what was left was fantastic. The nutmeg really does make it. I add in some fresh ground spinach. Today I’m trying it with whole milk which I think will be rich enough with the cheese. I’ll let you know…

  34. Sue says:

    It’s that time of year again…….I’ve done this before but I fill the pumpkin half way with seasoned croutons (the large ones), then add the cheese, cream and seasoning, then bake the same way. It makes a more spreadable appetizer. Going to take the ingredients and bake at a friends house this weekend. Happy fall!

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