1 Jack-O-Lantern, large enough to hold your fondue pot and stand
1 head of garlic
1 large, 2-pound butternut squash
EVOO Extra Virgin Olive Oil, for drizzling
Salt and pepper
3 tablespoons maple syrup
3 cup chicken stock
3 tablespoons cornstarch
1 1/2 tablespoons Kirchwasser (cherry cordial)
1/4 cup water
3 cups orange cheddar cheese, grated
1 cup Gruyre cheese, grated
Garlic bread spears
Roasted baby potatoes
Blanched green beans and/or broccoli
Skewered and grilled sausage (pork and/or chicken), chicken tenders, flank steak
Heat oven to 400F. Set up the fondue pot stand in the Jack-O-Lantern.
Cut end off garlic bulb, exposing the tops of the cloves. Place on a piece of foil then drizzle with EVOO, salt and pepper. Wrap garlic up in the foil and roast 45-50 minutes. Let cool then squish out the garlic cloves from the skins into a food processor.
While garlic is roasting, peel and chop squash into 1/2-inch cubes. Place on a large baking sheet and dress with EVOO to coat lightly. Season with salt, pepper and a drizzle of maple syrup. Roast to golden at edges and very tender, about 35 minutes.
Once the squash is done, place into food processor along with the roasted garlic and pure until smooth. You should have about 2 cups worth or a bit more.
In a medium saucepot, bring the stock to a simmer over medium-high heat. While stock is coming up to a simmer, mix together the cornstarch with the Kichwasser and water in a small bowl until combined and almost liquid paste-like.
In a slow and steady stream, add the cornstarch into the stock while whisking. Cook to thicken slightly, about 2-3 minutes. Add the garlic and butternut squash pure to the stock and whisk until combined.
Gradually add both cheeses to the pot while stirring in a zig-zag pattern. Cook until cheese is melted and smooth, about 5-8 minutes.
Transfer the fondue to fondue pot and place on the stand inside the Jack-O-Lantern. Serve with your favorite dippers!