1 Jack-o-Lantern, large enough to hold your fondue pot and stand
1 head garlic
1 2-pound butternut squash
Extra virgin olive oil (EVOO), 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 Gruyère 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
Pre-heat the oven to 400°F. Set up the fondue pot stand in the Jack-o-Lantern.
Cut the end off the garlic bulb, exposing the tops of the cloves. Place on a piece of foil, then drizzle with EVOO, salt and pepper. Wrap the garlic up in the foil and roast for 45-50 minutes. Let cool, then squish out the garlic cloves from the skins into a food processor.
While the garlic is roasting, peel and chop the 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 the edges and very tender, about 35 minutes.
Once the squash is done, place into food processor along with the roasted garlic and purée until smooth. You should have about 2 cups worth or a bit more.
In a medium size saucepot, bring the stock to a simmer over medium-high heat. While the 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 puree 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!