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Pumpkin gratin

Serves 6


1 small and sweet-fleshed, ripe pumpkin, peeled, seeded and then cut into 2cm chunks
A good knob of butter
1 large onion, peeled and finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
1 litre single cream
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
150g mature cheddar, grated
50g fresh white breadcrumbs
20-30g pumpkin seeds

Preheat the oven to 180C/gas mark 4. Melt the butter in a pan, add the onion and garlic and cook gently for 2-3 minutes.

Add the cream; bring to the boil and season to taste. Stir in 120g of the grated cheese. Arrange the pumpkin chunks in an ovenproof serving dish and pour over the hot cream mixture.

Place the dish in the centre of a deep roasting tin. Fill the tin with boiling water to halfway up the sides of the gratin dish (this will act as a bain-marie, or water bath) and transfer to the oven. Bake for 45 minutes.

Mix the remaining cheese with the breadcrumbs and pumpkin seeds, scatter over the gratin and continue cooking for another 15-20 minutes, until browned.