When snow is piling up or the winter wind is howling, when family and friends gather — whip up an easy fireside treat. A quick and cozy Cheddar and Cider Fondue.
I like to cut cubes from a crusty French bread, but other accompaniments to this fondue might be: apple or pear slices, steamed vegetables like cauliflower, broccoli, or sausage slices.
While this recipe calls for a medium-sharp cheddar cheese, you can easily substitute a Gruyère or Gouda cheese — or combine them all.
Popularized in the 1930’s, Cheese Fondue was a dish created by the Swish Cheese Union to promote cheese consumption and is a Swiss national dish. It wasn’t until the 1960s that it became popular in North America.
But the concept of fondue has early origins in France as a meat fondue as early as the Middle Ages, roots in Asia as a broth fondue (or Hot Pot). And by the 20th century, Americans changed it up a bit by creating the Chocolate Fondue.
Cheddar Cheese and Cider Fondue
1 cup apple cider
4 cups Sharp Cheddar cheese, grated
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1 tablespoon cornstarch
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
In a large saucepan, bring the cider to a boil over medium heat. Add the cheese and nutmeg and stir with a wooden spoon until the cheese is melted.
Toss the grated cheese with the cornstarch, nutmeg, and black pepper. Add the cheese to the simmering cider and stir until the cheese is melted. Cook and stir for 3-4 minutes until the fondue is smooth and the cheese is melted.
Transfer to a fondue pot or small slow cooker. Keep warm and serve with cubed French bread and apple slices — or the accompaniment of your choice.