Cider Swiss “Fondue”

Temps des Fêtes 2011
food and drink

BY: Julia Aitken

A traditional cheese fondue must be kept warm over a burner to prevent it from separating, but this cheat’s version, based on a classic cheese sauce, is just as good. Served in individual portions, it makes a chic hors d’oeuvre. For best flavour, use Gruyère and Emmenthal from Switzerland, rather than domestic “Swiss” cheese. If you don’t have white peppercorns, feel free to use regular ground black pepper, but be prepared for black specks in your fondue

1 large apple
2 tbsp (30 mL) fresh lemon juice
1½ cups (375 mL) dry cider, such as Blackthorn Cider
¼ cup (60 mL) all-purpose flour
¼ cup (60 mL) cold unsalted butter, cubed
2 tbsp (30 mL) Armagnac
½ cup (125 mL) whipping cream
1 clove garlic, peeled and cut in half
2 tsp (10 mL) Worcestershire sauce
½ tsp (2 mL) freshly ground white pepper
½ tsp (2 mL) smoked sweet paprika
1½ cups (375 mL) each coarsely shredded
Gruyère and Emmenthal cheese
Crisp bread sticks for dipping

1 Core apple and cut into 24 thin slices. In a medium bowl, toss apple slices with lemon juice. Set aside.

2 In a large saucepan, whisk together cider, flour, butter and Armagnac over medium heat until butter melts and mixture is steaming.

3 Add cream, garlic, Worcestershire sauce, pepper and paprika and cook, whisking constantly, until mixture starts to bubble. Simmer, whisking constantly, for 2 minutes or until sauce has thickened and is smooth.

4 Remove the saucepan from the heat and gradually stir in Gruyère and Emmenthal until cheeses melt and fondue is smooth.

5 Discard garlic, and ladle fondue into twelve ⅓-cup (80 mL) espresso cups or heatproof shot glasses. Set 2 apple slices on each espresso saucer or garnish edge of each glass with apple slices. Add a couple of halved bread sticks to each fondue and serve at once with additional bread sticks for dipping.

Makes 3 cups (750 mL), serves 12

What to Serve