Butternut Squash Gratin
1 cup breadcrumbs
6 cups peeled and sliced (about ¼ inch thick) orange squash like butternut, red kuri or kabocha (not the Jack o’ lanterns pumpkin type)
Trick: If the squash is too hard to cut, pre-roast at 350°F for 45 minutes
1 ½ cups grated Comte or Gruyere cheese
1 ½ cups grated sheep’s milk cheese
2 ½ teaspoons dry mustard (Coleman’s is my favorite)
1 2/3 cups cream (I prefer 50 % crème fraiche and 50% whipping cream)
1 ½ cups dry white wine
2 cloves garlic peeled and finely grated (I use a micro plane grater)
freshly grated nutmeg to taste
6-7 leaves of fresh sage, cut into fine strips (chiffonade)
3 tablespoons butter
salt and pepper to taste
Preheat the oven to 375°F
Butter a gratin dish that will hold at least 10 cups of liquid
In a saucepan, combine the cream and crème fraiche, mustard, nutmeg, sage, salt, pepper, and wine and mix well. Bring to a boil and remove from heat. Separately, mix together the two cheeses.
Layer the squash in the buttered gratin dish alternating with a layer of cheese, the squash, cheese, and then squash. Pour the cream, spice mixture over the squash and top with a final layer of cheese. Bake at 375°F until fork tender and bubbly.
While baking, melt the butter and moisten the breadcrumbs. Sprinkle the breadcrumbs over the gratin and return to the oven. Bake until the top is nicely browned and the liquids have been absorbed, about 15-20 minutes.