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This is a snack that would be great for the whole family on All-Hallows-Eve (aka Halloween) or any chilly winter night.  

You’ve probably heard of fondue, right? Well, fonduta is a version that’s made without alcohol, or as Rach puts it "Italian for queso dip, basically, or like a white nacho sauce." She serves it in a roasted pumpkin, making it what John calls a "fun-duta"! As good as the filling is, though, Rach says the best part is eating the pumpkin at the end. "You cut it up and that's like the dessert of the dish. Think of pumpkin or sweet potato pie with cheese on it," she says. "It tastes like that." Yum! 

Try pairing the dish with the Cinnamon-Maple Whiskey Sour John created to go with it.

 Pro Tip: It's helpful, but not necessary, to have fondue sticks or bamboo skewers to dip the fruit and bread into the fonduta. 



For the Sage Crostini:
  • 6 tablespoons olive oil or butter 
  • 18-20 sage leaves
  • 24 thin slices ciabatta or Italian bread, toasted
  • Flaky sea salt
For the Apples and Cubed Bread: 
  • 2-3 apples, sliced and tossed with a little lemon juice
  • 1 small loaf fruit-nut bread, such as walnut and raisin or fruited pumpernickel, cubed
For the Pumpkin and Fonduta: 
  • 1 small pumpkin or halved large pumpkin or Kuri squash, peeled, top cut off and seeds removed
  • Non-aerosol olive oil cooking spray
  • Salt and pepper
  • ¾ cup half-and-half 
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 teaspoon white pepper
  • About 1/8 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg  
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 12 ounces Fontina Val d’Aosta or Gruyere, cut into small dice


Serves: 6 to 8


For the sage crostini, heat olive oil or butter over medium heat with sage until sage is crisp and oil is fragrant or butter is lightly browned.   

Brush toasts with oil or butter, crumble sage over and top with flaky sea salt.

For the apples and cubed bread, set aside on a platter for serving. 

For the pumpkin and fonduta, preheat oven to 450°F, with rack at center. Line tray with foil and parchment, then coat the pumpkin with oil, season with salt and pepper and roast until tender and browned at edges, about 25 to 30 minutes.

Place a glass bowl over a medium pot with an inch of water at a simmer. Add half-and-half and butter and heat. Season with white pepper and nutmeg.

Rachael Ray 3-Quart Covered Saucepan

Rachael Ray 3-Quart Covered Saucepan

Whisk up 3 egg yolks. Whisk yolks into half-and-half and whisk constantly for a few minutes to thicken, then add diced cheese a handful at a time to combine. Once melted, pour into the pumpkin. Serve with sage crostini and apples and cubed fruited bread.