There isn’t much better than cheese fondue on a blistering winter evening. This recipe uses brandy and cider instead of white wine but doesn’t disappoint.
By Julie McAleenan
Cheese makes a few annual traditional appearances in our household – for Christmas we order a special cheese from France, a spread of the best cheese for my birthday, and on the first snowfall we eat cheese fondue while watching Aspen Extreme. So, you can image how thrilled I was when snow was on this week’s forecast. And snow it did. About one foot, making this cheese fondue extra special.
I’d never made this particular recipe from Bon Appétit before but thought I’d try it out. I have to give the folks over at Bon Appétit a thumbs up for their genius idea of mixing the shredded cheese and cornstarch together before melting. In years past, I had cornstarch bubbles in my fondue from adding the cornstarch after the cheese melted. This time, there were no bubbles in sight.
I love the addition of hard apple cider instead of white wine. The fondue still has a boozy taste from the brandy, but the cider adds in a touch of sweetness that pairs perfectly with apples. We served ours with a whole bunch of vegetables and some sliced sausages. There were two clear winners: radishes and a combo of apples and apple sausage.
- 1lb (1/2 kg) Gruyere cheese, grated
- 2 tbsp corn starch
- 1 cup (240 ml) flavorful hard apple cider (in you liquor store)
- 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 2 tbsp apple brandy or regular brandy
- 2 chorizo sausages, cooked
- 2 apple sausages, cooked
- Granny Smith Apple
- In a large bowl, thoroughly mix cheese and corn starch.
- In a medium sized saucepan, heat cider and vinegar over medium to high heat until just simmering.
- Keeping a gentle (very gentle) simmer and start adding handfuls of cheese.
- Once the cheese has melted continue adding handfuls until all of the cheese has been mixed in.
- While keeping a constant stir, increase the heat until the cheese starts to bubble.
- Then turn down the heat and add brandy.
- Cut desired vegetables and meats (meat should be already cooked) into bite size pieces.
- Transfer to a fondue pot, grab some wine, watch the snowfall and dig in!
Julie McAleenan is the carrot behind Burnt Carrots, a cooking and food photography blog. Her writing focuses on the daily adventures of a decidedly unprofessional chef. A camera never leaves her side as she seeks to capture the story behind real, honest food.