A decadent treat that’s fun to make and share
SERVES: 4 as a starter
• 1 small pumpkin • 150g grated mature cheddar • 150g grated Gruyère • 150g grated Emmental • 30g watercress, roughly chopped • 25g plain flour (or use cornfl our for gluten free) • 150g crème fraîche • 50ml dry white wine • 2 small shallots, finely diced • 1 garlic clove, finely chopped • Freshly ground black pepper
TO SERVE (OPTIONAL):
• Crusty bread • Roasted baby potatoes • Roasted vegetables
1. Pre-heat the oven to 170°C/160ºC fan/gas 3.Take a sharp knife and carefully remove the ‘lid’ of the pumpkin, keeping to one side.Scoop out the seeds and stringy insides from the pumpkin, leaving the edible flesh intact.Put the lid back on the pumpkin and place onto an oven tray.
2. Roast for around 45 mins, or until the flesh is just cooked through.Remove from the oven and allow to cool while you make up the fondue.
3. To a large mixing bowl add the grated cheeses, watercress and plain flour.Mix together thoroughly so the cheese and watercress are evenly coated with a fine layer of flour.In a separate bowl, mix together the crème fraîche, white wine, shallots and garlic, along with ground black pepper (to taste).
4. Combine the cheese mixture and the crème fraîche mix, then take a spoon and carefully fill up the pumpkin with the combined mixture.Put the pumpkin back into the oven for 30 mins, or until the cheese is melted and bubbling.
5. Take the pumpkin out of the oven and carefully transfer to a board for serving.Serve with bread, potatoes or roasted vegetables for dunking, using spoons or fondue forks to dip into the fondue and scoop out the soft, roasted pumpkin flesh.
Recipe and imagery courtesy of www.watercress.co.uk
Tanners’ wine buff Tiffany Vernon goes all treat, no trick, when choosing wines to complement this issue’s Galloping Gourmet...
I was very tempted to cut a ghoulish face into the pumpkin before serving the fondue… It did dawn on me, however, that it might not be entirely practical! Instead I turned my skills to the wines.
White wine is definitely the best pairing with a fondue; despite having it drummed into us that red wine and cheese are the perfect match, it’s actually far easier to match cheese with a white.
First, I’ve chosen Famille Hugel Classic Pinot Blanc, Alsace (£14.40), which is a richly textured wine boasting green apples, lemon and peach combined with floral and mineral elements. This has a slightly creamy feel to it making it great with soft, gooey cheeses!
Famille Hugel is one of the oldest wine estates in the French region of Alsace. Set up in 1639, it’s still 100 percent family owned and is today run by the 12th generation of the family. They even have the world’s ‘oldest working cask’ – which dates back to 1715 – in which to age their top wines.
Alternatively, you could push the boat out with a bottle of Mâcon Viré-Clessé, Les Héritiers du Comte Lafon (£26). This is a powerful White Burgundy, showcasing the Chardonnay grape at its finest, giving us a mouth-watering palate of mango, baked pineapple and peach complemented by pinpoint acidity, a touch of toasted vanilla and a lovely mineral finish. The tropical fruit character combines particularly well with the pumpkin.
Domaine des Comtes Lafon is famous for its characterful and rather pricey wines from areas such as Meursault and Puligny-Montrachet, while the Mâcon area is regarded as a separate project to the Domaine’s more famous wines, but still greatly expresses both the grape and terroir of this region. This is a wine-lover’s wine and gets into serious territory but is a good starting point before working your way up to the big boys of Meursault!
• Prices subject to changes in duty. Tanners Wine Merchants have branches throughout the Welsh Borders, in Shrewsbury, Hereford, Chester, Bridgnorth and Welshpool. Tel: 01743 234500. www.tanners-wines.co.uk