Make Ahead

Acorn Squash Fondue

February 16, 2011
1 Ratings
  • Serves A Crowd
Author Notes

This recipe was inspired by a restaurant on Amelia Island in the sunny state of Florida. Acorn squash is a perfect winter vegetable, and this fondue makes a lovely chilly weather appetizer. I revised the original recipe to include less apple cider and cream cheese, added nutmeg & thyme, and cooked the squash with cinnamon, sea salt and unsalted butter to create the best flavor for the fondue. - Table9 —Table9

Test Kitchen Notes

Table9 has successfully translated the traditional Swiss fondue into a wonderful new version featuring classic American ingredients. Sharp Cheddar cheese, acorn squash, and apple cider are blended and enriched with heavy cream and cream cheese to create a delicious fondue served right from the squash shell. This would make a perfect appetizer or first course for Thanksgiving dinner, as well as for winter holiday entertaining. I pureed the roasted squash in a food processor before cooking it with the apple cider, to ensure a silky texture. Take care not to cut too much off the bottom, or bake the squash too long, either of which can cause the squash bottom to give out prematurely. (I did both!) In addition to bread, I tried raw turnip slices and crispy Fuji apple wedges as dippers. The turnip was fine, but the apples were outstanding. I would like to try this again experimenting with dry hard cider instead of sweet cider, and trying other squash varieties. Definitely recommended for an Editor's Pick. —AppleAnnie

What You'll Need
  • 1 Medium Acorn Squash
  • 3/4 cup Apple Cider
  • 6 ounces Cream Cheese
  • 1/2 cup Heavy Cream
  • 8 ounces Sharp Cheddar
  • 1/2 teaspoon Freshly Grated Nutmeg
  • 1 tablespoon Unsalted Butter
  • 1/8 teaspoon Thyme
  • Dash of Ground Cinnamon
  • Sea Salt to Taste
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Cut the top off the acorn squash and scoop out the seeds. Shave a small portion of the bottom of the squash off to make it sits flat. Add dash of cinnamon, dash of sea salt and the unsalted butter slice inside the squash. Bake squash for approximately 30 minutes. Remove and let cool for about 5 minutes.
  3. Carefully scoop out the meat of the squash, leaving about 1/2" thick rim inside. The squash shell will be your serving bowl.
  4. In a saucepan over medium heat, combine the squash and apple cider and cook until immersed. You can use an immersion blender if desired. Once broken up, add the heavy cream and cream cheese. Stir constantly until fully melted. Add the grated sharp cheddar, nutmeg and thyme. Continue blending over medium heat until the fondue is complete.
  5. Pour fondue into the acorn squash shell and sprinkle the top with sugared pecans and a dash of nutmeg. Serve with french baguette pieces, dried fruit and anything else you love to dip.
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18 Reviews

rlsalvati October 21, 2012
A friend at the CSA recommended this and it was named the Best Fondue Ever at dinner last night! I used a smoked cheddar from the CSA in the fondue, and one of our dipping items was grilled sausage slices, also from a local provider. The bottom of the squash shell was so soft it broke through, we dipped from bowls instead. I'll keep working on using the shell as the serving piece, it was certainly beautiful when it came out of the oven.
clintonhillbilly December 12, 2011
We made this or Thanksgiving and it was wonderful! We roasted some carrots and parsnips with olive oil and used them to dip-- the carrots especially were a perfect combination. The presentation in the squash itself is so impressive too. It was one of the best parts of our Thanksgiving meal. Thank you for your wonderful recipe.
testkitchenette February 18, 2011
Lovely! I remember reading in Ruth Reichl's book, Comfort Me With Apples, a recipe where she did a fondue of sorts in a pumpkin...this is a great personal size option! Great recipe!
Table9 February 18, 2011
I have never read that one...I will have to look it up. It would be wonderful with pumpkin or butternut squash as well. Thanks!
Sagegreen February 18, 2011
Gorgeous and so interesting, too!
Table9 February 18, 2011
Thanks Sagegreen!
MeghanVK February 18, 2011
This looks awesome. I'm quickly running out of ways to make squash, so I'll have to give this a try!
Table9 February 18, 2011
Thanks MeghanVK! Congrats on your finalist recipe...cannot wait to try it.
nannydeb February 17, 2011
How festive! This looks and sounds great!
Table9 February 17, 2011
Nannydeb thanks so much! It could definitely be a great New Years Eve or Christmas app!
hardlikearmour February 17, 2011
Love this presentation, and the fondue sounds spectacular!
Table9 February 17, 2011
Appreciate it!
Lizthechef February 16, 2011
Beautiful presentation! And you have a winning recipe to boot...
Table9 February 17, 2011
Thanks Lizthechef!
AntoniaJames February 16, 2011
Oh my, this sounds just heavenly. I love this recipe!!! I could see mixing that lovely concoction with some pasta and baking it in the oven for the best ever mac'n'cheese the world has ever seen. Wow!! ;o)
Table9 February 16, 2011
Thanks AJ! It would be so wonderful in a mac and cheese, maybe adding some gruyere or fresh parm. Yummm! I may try it with the leftover this weekend. I will let you know if I try with the pasta. Happy cooking.
Cook T. February 16, 2011
What a gorgeous way to serve a fondue! Now I'm thinking about other possible shells and fillings. Thanks for the inspiration.
Table9 February 16, 2011
Thanks so much Cook the Story! You should try a butternut squash. I almost used it, but the hole created when you scoop out the seeds of the butternut squash is small. But it would be good for a smaller gathering. Let me know if you think of any more 'shells'!