*Ashlyn of The Pedantic Foodie will be headlining a seasonal food series here on PMQ for two. She creates mouthwatering recipes on her site, and they’re always full of colour and tastes. Her fall recipe line-up looks divine. I like to think she cooks the way I decorate – with all the flavours!
“I have said it more times than I can count – I am a self-declared appetizer girl. Spreads, dips, charcuteries, and crostini are some of my favorite things in life. If we are pot-lucking, the greatest joy you can deliver is to honor me with the role of “appetizer provider.”
Savory Pumpkin Appetizers
I feel like this favorite food group of mine warrants and receives special attention come fall. Between the game day parties and impending holidays, there are plenty of opportunities to plant yourself around someone’s kitchen island and slyly grab all of the olives.
When Ariel asked me to dream up a pumpkin-themed recipe I knew I wanted to go savory. We are surrounded by lattes, muffins, and all manner of pumpkin desserts (which I adore, by the way), and I felt that pumpkin should get some first course attention.
This dip is my humble attempt to bring pumpkin to the forefront of our minds and menus. It is also a pretty sure way to earn yourself “appetizer queen” status at your next game day party.
It all begins with caramelized onions. This dip is essentially a riff off of an old favorite of mine but with a fall makeover.
After your onions have caramelized – this will take approximately forever, but I promise it will be worth the wait – then comes the hard cider.
Yep, hard cider AND pumpkin in one cheese-centered dip. We are making magic happen.
Hard cider meets with our caramelized onions and is simmered just long enough to thicken up.
Then, the really fun part. Cream cheese, pumpkin puree, and shredded gruyere are all blended into the mixture to create the most incredible savory medley of flavors.
As the dip bakes, the cheese will slowly melt and the flavors will meld into a luscious spread.
Now, crack open a couple of bottles of your favorite cider, toast up a baguette and get dipping.
Happy, happy fall!
Recipe for Baked Pumpkin Gruyere Dip with Caramelized Onions & Hard Cider
- 2 medium sweet onions, sliced into rings about 1/4-inch thick
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1/3 cup your favorite hard cider
- 3/4 cup pumpkin puree
- 8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
- 10 ounces freshly grated gruyere
- 2 large French baguettes
- olive oil
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
Place a large sauté pan over medium heat and melt the butter in the pan. Once the butter has melted, add onions and sprinkle with salt.
Cook the onions slowly, swirling the pan every so often. You do not want to rush this step as the onions will char rather than caramelize. After 15-20 minutes, the onions will have become translucent and deep, golden brown.
Increase heat to medium high and pour in hard cider. Use a spatula to incorporate the cider into the onions. Bring to a simmer. Simmer until just slightly reduced; about 2 minutes.
Pour the onion mixture, pumpkin puree, and cream cheese into a large mixing bowl and beat with an electric mixer until well combined. Beat in grated gruyere.
Transfer the mixture to an 8×8 baking dish and use a spatula to smooth over the top.
Bake for 25-35 minutes; until golden brown and bubbling. Remove from the oven and allow to cool slightly while you prepare the crostini.
Slice the baguettes into slices 1/2-inch in thickness and lay on baking sheets lined with parchment paper. Brush with olive oil and place under your oven’s broiler until golden brown and toasted.