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
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.
Carefully scoop out the meat of the squash, leaving about 1/2" thick rim inside. The squash shell will be your serving bowl.
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.
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.