Baked Pumpkin and Cream

This is an awesome Martha recipe.

-Preheat your oven to 350 degrees with a rack set in the center of the oven.

-Line a baking sheet with a nonstick baking mat or use a Dutch oven that is slightly larger in diameter than your pumpkin (in which case, you will need to serve your pumpkin from the Dutch oven, as it may stick, but it will keep its shape better this way).

-Using a sharp, sturdy knife, cut off top of 1 pie pumpkin, working around the top with the knife inserted at a 45-degree angle to cut off enough to make it easy to work inside the pumpkin; reserve top.

-Remove seeds and strings from cap and pumpkin with a spoon.

-Season inside of pumpkin generously with salt and pepper.

-Place on prepared baking sheet or in Dutch oven; set aside.

-In a large bowl, toss together the following until well combined:

¼ pound stale bread, sliced and cut into ½ inch cubes

¼ pound Gruyere, Emmenthal or cheddar cheese (or a mix of all three), cut into 1/2-inch cubes

2 to 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped

4 slices thick cut bacon, chopped and cooked until crisp

1 TBS fresh thyme, minced

-Pack into pumpkin; it should be well filled but not overstuffed. (You may need to add some more bread and cheese or some of the filling may not be necessary to use.)

-In a small bowl, stir ½ cup heavy cream with some freshly grated nutmeg to combine.

-Pour over filling; filling should be moist but not swimming in cream.

-Place top on pumpkin and transfer to oven; cook until filling is bubbling and pumpkin flesh is tender, about 1 hour and 30 minutes.

-Remove top and continue baking until liquid is slightly evaporated and top of filling is browned, 20 to 30 minutes more.

 -Carefully transfer pumpkin to a serving platter (or serve in Dutch oven, if using) and serve.