This week has been spent in the kitchen creating a whirl of Autumnal recipes, including this delicious Pumpkin and Comté Cheese Fondue. I tend to cook a lot more in these darker months, I guess the same as most people. It is a combination of wanting more home cooked comfort food whilst also having more time indoors.
Before I tell you about this recipe let’s begin by talking about cheese.. ah cheese cheese cheese. If I had to choose between chocolate and cheese it would be a hard choice but I would choose cheese. It took me a long time, maybe until my mid twenties to get out of the only eating mild to mature cheddar and well now I eat it ALL. In fact for the past few years I have even ordered a cheese board as a dessert on many occasions something I would have considered a bit crazy a while ago.
I couldn’t pick a favourite cheese, I enjoy them all from the soft and squishy to the hardest mature cheese. Cheese is definitely a comfort food for me. When Comté cheese got in touch and asked me to work on a recipe post with them I was fairly eager to say yes. I first tried Comté at a dinner some time back, was immediately hooked and was disappointed to not find it on sale locally. Since then stockists in my area have improved thankfully and it can also be ordered via Ocado and Waitrose..YAY. The cheese I am using in this recipe is a younger ( less mature ) cheese, it has a mild yet creamy taste and melts perfectly in my Pumpkin and Comté Cheese Fondue.
Want to learn a little about Comté?
For more than ten centuries, villagers of Jura Massif, Eastern France have lovingly crafted a unique and delicious cheese: Comté. This stunning region of mountains stretches between Jura and Doubs in the Franche-Comté region, and Ain in the Rhones-Alpes region, and is home to over 3,000 family farms dedicated to producing the highest quality of raw milk that is required to create Comté cheese. Today it is not only loved by millions of people in France, but all over world.
Some of my friends and fellow bloggers have been lucky enough to visit the area of France where the cheese is produced and enjoy sumptuous amounts of it. Read what Sarah from Maison Cupcake thought of the trip here and what Helen from Fuss Free Flavours thought here.
Moving onto my delicious Pumpkin and Comté Cheese Fondue. A lot of fondues use a mixture of cheese but mine was all Comté. A whopping 400g of it actually.. along with creme fraiche, herbs and some shallots and garlic with a generous slug of white wine. Baking it in the pumpkin is so simple and has many perks including no stirring, no watching the hob and most importantly no sticky fondue pan to wash up afterwards. Pumpkins are pretty much the symbol of Autumn as well as Halloween but they are worth so much more than carving and forgetting whilst they rot away. The seeds can be rubbed with spice and baked. The flesh makes incredible soups and well now this recipe. Seriously this is a MUST try.
Pumpkin Comté Cheese Fondue
You will need:
1 large pumpkin
400g grated Comté cheese
2 tbsp cornflour or plain flour
150g creme fraiche
40ml white wine
1 tbsp finely diced fresh rosemary
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 banana shallot, diced
pinch of sea salt
pinch of black pepper
Mixture of breads
Bacon (optional )
Preheat your oven to 180c.
Prepare your pumpkin, first carve out your lid, remove and scoop out the seeds and membrane. Reserve your seeds ( you can make some tasty healthy snacks later ). Pop the lid back on and put your pumpkin on a baking tray in the centre of the oven and bake for approximately 90 minutes.
Remove your pumpkin very carefully from the oven. Set the lid aside ( you can use the flesh from the lid in a soup ). Turn up the heat to 220c. Now add your ingredients to the Pumpkin starting with your Comté Cheese and then everything else in whichever order you prefer. Return to the oven and bake for a further 40 minutes. Whilst your fondue is bubbling away you can prepare your accompaniments. You could really use anything you like to dip in the molten cheese, small potatoes work well as does crusty bread. I used a combination of squares of focaccia to pop in on skewers and toasted artisan bread which I then spread with the fondue and served with bacon.
I’ll leave you with one final tip, if you find you have made more fondue than required or even if there is only the smallest amount remaining get a spoon and scoop any remaining fondue and pumpkin flesh, pop in a pan with vegetable stock and bring to a simmer before pureeing with a hand blender. Gorgeous cheesy pumpkin soup – the very best of leftover lunches.
Here are some more recipes that feature Comté, why not give them all a whirl?
And more pumpkin ideas here
*This post has been commissioned by Comté Cheese and I was compensated for my time.