Dinner in a Pumpkin is one of my favorite meals I make for my clients this time of year.
When my kids were little, we used to like to have it on Halloween night, but it’s perfect any night in October. It would also be great when you have guests because it’s so darn festive. Just serve with a simple salad and you’re done.
It’s pretty much a strata, stuffed in a pumpkin, but it’s the presentation that makes it so special.
Scoop the seeds and pulp out of your pumpkin (save the seeds to roast if you like to do that, I have a recipe I'm going to post soon). Salt and pepper the inside, then layer 2 cups of toasted sourdough bread cubes on the bottom.
On top of that, layer 1 1/2 cups shredded gruyere cheese.
Next, layer half the cooked sausage, half the thyme and half the sage.
Repeat the layers one more time, pushing them down as you go.
Whisk the heavy cream, broth, egg, and nutmeg. Pour this over it all, making sure to soak the top layer of bread.
Rub the outside of the pumpkin generously with cooking oil, then bake with the top on, at 400 degrees for about an hour.
The cooking time will vary depending on the size of your pumpkin, so check it earlier if you have smaller pumpkins. It is ready when you pierce the inside of the pumpkin flesh with a fork and it is soft.
When serving, make sure to scoop out some pumpkin flesh on each plate.
Sometimes I'm left with extra ingredients depending on the size of my pumpkin. If you are left with any, coat the bottom of a oven proof dish with oil and layer the ingredients, making sure to pour the cream and broth mixture over as well (sometimes I have to whip up more of this). Bake it along with your pumpkin, but it will be done earlier, in about 20 - 30 minutes.