This is pretty much the best grilled cheese I’ve ever made! Need I say more? So basically, I am just so excited that Thanksgiving is coming up and the grocery stores are filling up with fresh pumpkin again. I’m a huge fan of canned pumpkin for many recipes but sometimes fresh pumpkin really does the trick. That mildly sweet flavor and thick stringy flesh makes this a very filling grilled cheese and the sliced apple adds an extra layer of crunch. What a great way to begin the Fall season!
Pumpkin Grilled Cheese with Apples and Cheddar
makes two sandwiches
4 slices challah bread, sliced white or whole grain bread (Udi’s Gluten Free Bread is great for this also)
1 small pumpkin
1/2 gala apple, thinly sliced
1/4 cup sliced or shredded sharp cheddar
1/2 cup baby arugula
2 Tbsp butter
I bought a small pumpkin, often called a pie pumpkin, and washed the skin with soap and water. I preheated the oven to 350 degrees F.
I carefully sliced the pumpkin in half, from top to bottom, with a very sharp knife.
I scooped out the seeds and threw them away then placed the pumpkin halves in a large baking dish, face down. I filled the dish with 1/2 cup water then baked the pumpkin for 1 hour.
I removed the pumpkin from the oven, carefully flipped the halfs over and checked that the flesh was tender with a fork.
I set the cooked pumpkin aside to cool enough to handle, around 15 minutes. I scooped out the flesh and threw away the skin. You can store the flesh in an airtight container for up to 1 week in the fridge. Next up came the grilled cheese! I slathered butter on the outside of the sliced bread. I scooped some of the cooked pumpkin flesh on the bottom of one slice. I placed a layer of sliced apple on the pumpkin.
I added the sliced cheddar cheese then a handful of arugula.
I warmed a grill pan (you can also use a regular saucepan) over medium heat then added the stacked sandwich, butter side down, to the pan. I topped it with the second slice of buttered bread.
I pushed down on the sandwich with a spatula and listened to that beautiful sizzle. After three minutes on one side, I carefully flipped the sandwich, pressed down again with the spatula and cooked for another three minutes. The bread had beautiful brown grill marks but if you aren’t using a grill pan, the bread should be toasted on both sides. I removed the grilled cheese from the pan and sliced it in half.
I love the way the cheese melted right out of the sandwich and the apples stayed nice and crunchy!