02 January 2010, Afternoon
Over time, we've tried a lot of different recipes for cheese fondue. This year, we decided this particular recipe was pretty much as good as we've had it. It's a combination of things I remember from past years... plus the recipes from Saveur and Sunset.
Serves 4 a lot of cheese for dinner, or 6-8 an appetizer
Bread; either a big country loaf, or a couple of baguettes, crusty in any case
1 garlic clove, peeled and cut in half
1 1/4 cups dry white wine
1/2 lb. gruyère cheese, grated
1/2 lb. emmenthaler cheese, grated
1 teaspoon dry mustard
1 tbsp. cornstarch
Pinch of nutmeg
2 tbsp. kirsch
Freshly ground black pepper
1. Chop up or tear the bread into 1/2 inch cubes.
2. Rub interior of a medium stainless-steel pot with garlic clove, then discard garlic. Add white wine and bring to a simmer over medium heat.
3. Combine grated cheeses in a bowl and toss with cornstarch and dry mustard. Add a little black pepper.
4. Transfer the hot wine to a fondue pot or chafing dish set over a flame. Add cheese mixture a handful at a time, stirring until fondue is smoothly melted and beginning to bubble. Add the kirsch and sprinkle fondue with nutmeg and a little more pepper.
5. To eat, spear bread pieces with fondue forks and dip in cheese, continuing to stir with forks as you dip.
If you use a chafing dish or a ceramic fondue pot with a diffuser, the cheese will stay pretty consistent throughout. If you use a metal fondue pot with no diffuser, you'll have cheese crust in the bottom center of the pan that you can scrape out and eat as a special treat.
I think if you add the cornstarch after the cheese is melted and then cook it for 5 minutes, it will probably come out thicker. I suggest trying this if you prefer a thicker cheese. If it gets too thick, I recommend adding extra wine!