1 small pie pumpkin
4 slices bacon, thinly sliced
1 leek, thinly sliced
1/2 of a baguette, cut into 1/2 cubes
1/3 cup gruyere cheese, grated
1/2 of a nutmeg, grated
1/4 cup cream
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Remove the stem of the pumpkin by cutting a circular hole, holding the knife at a 45 degree angle, 1 to 2 inches around the base of the stem, jack-o-lantern style. Reserve the top, but trim away any hanging threads or seeds. Using a spoon, scrape out the stringy flesh and seeds. Reserve the seeds. When the pumpkin is cleaned out, rub the inside walls with a splash of olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
In a saute pan over medium heat, saute the bacon until crispy. Add in the leek, season with a pinch of salt and pepper, and saute until soft, about 5 minutes. Transfer bacon-leek mixture to a bowl. Add in the baguette, gruyere, and nutmeg. Toss to combine. Taste a spoonful. If it needs more seasoning, add it now. Pack the mixture into the cavity of the pumpkin then pour the cream inside. Place the top of the pumpkin on top. Bake until the flesh of the pumpkin can be easily pierced with a pairing knife, about one hour. While the pumpkin is resting outside of the oven, toss the pumpkin seeds with a splash of olive oil, season with salt, pepper, and a pinch of cayenne, and roast in the oven until crispy, about 30 minutes.
To serve, remove the top of the pumpkin. Slice pumpkin into wedges and serve sprinkled with the toasted pumpkin seeds.
bacon recipe courtesy of: Scarlett Lindeman, Diner Journal, Issue No. 26; 85 Broadway, Brooklyn, NY, 11249