Bake a cheesy, savory bread pudding, with sweet apples inside a WHOLE pumpkin.
1 large sugar pumpkin
1 1/2 tablespoon canola oil
2 cups chopped onions
1 teaspoon sugar
1 large apple, peeled, cored, chopped
1–1 1/2 cup chicken broth, divided
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme leaves, crumbled
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
6 ounces sharp Cheddar cheese, grated (about 1 1/2 cups) I used Cabot
2 cups fresh breadcrumbs (about 4 slices firm white Italian bread)
Preheat oven to 375°F. Place uncut pumpkin in large shallow dish and add 1/4 inch of water; cover tightly as best you can with foil and bake for 1 hour 20 minutes, or until just tender. Let cool. Then cut off ‘lid’ and scrape out pumpkin seeds. Place pumpkin shell in refrigerator to chill while completing remainder of recipe. Cut and scrape pumpkin meat from inside of shell leaving at least 1/4 inch shell. Chop pumpkin meat into bite-sized pieces.
Mix together cheese and breadcrumbs; set aside.
In large skillet over medium heat, heat oil. Add onions and sugar. Stir often until onions are golden, about 10 minutes. Stir in apple, 1/2 cup chicken broth, salt, thyme, and pepper, saute until apple is tender, about 4-5 minutes. Add chopped pumpkin, about 1 1/2 cup breadcrumb mixture and 1/2 cup broth; cook, stirring until thoroughly heated through.
Transfer mixture back into cold pumpkin shell and pour 1/2 cup broth over mixture. Sprinkle remaining bread crumb mixture over top of pumpkin mixture. Cover entire top of pumpkin with foil. Place pumpkin on metal baking sheet (not stoneware! I cracked mine in the heat!) Bake in preheated 350°F oven for 20-25 minutes until heated through. Remove foil and broil until breadcrumbs are golden (being careful not to burn pumpkin shell.) Serve in pumpkin shell.