"Makes 6 servings. This looks super cool. Must try. This rustic recipe is from Saveur magazine, (saveur.com). Look for a heavy pumpkin - author Amy Goldman recommends a Winter Luxury Pie pumpkin - with thick flesh to withstand roasting in the oven. Serve it with a tossed green salad and crusty bread."
Cut a lid about 4 inches in diameter out of the top of the pumpkin, and set the lid aside. Remove and discard seeds and strings (or save seeds for roasting later). Rub inside of pumpkin and lid with 1 tablespoon softened butter, season with salt and place pumpkin on a baking sheet.
Melt remaining 6 tablespoons butter in large skillet over medium heat.
Add chopped onions and cook until soft, about 10 minutes. Stir in bread crumbs and cook for 2 minutes. Add nutmeg and sage, and season generously with salt and pepper. Remove from heat, stir in cheese, and spoon mixture into pumpkin.
Pour enough stock into pumpkin to come within ½ inch of the rim. Lay bay leaves on top and fit lid back onto pumpkin top.
Bake in preheated oven until pumpkin begins to soften and brown on the outside and the stock begins to bubble on the inside, about 1?½ hours. Carefully remove pumpkin from oven and transfer to a serving platter. With a long-handled spoon, scrape flesh from bottom of sides of pumpkin. Just before serving, stir in the heaving cream, if using.
Note: If a large pumpkin isn't available, use two pie pumpkins (weighing at least 3 pounds each). You may need to use slightly less of the bread crumb mixture.