Cheddar, Onion, Apple & Hard Cider FondueCuisinart Original Recipe
A pub-style fondue, this is a Cuisinart kitchen favorite, especially when paired with soft pretzels."
1½ pounds extra-sharp Cheddar, finely shredded
2½ tablespoons cornstarch, divided
½ teaspoon dry mustard
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 small shallot, peeled and chopped
½ small to medium apple, cored and finely chopped (does not need to be peeled)
2½ cups hard cider*, room temperature, divided (note: you may not need all of the cider)
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1. Put the shredded Cheddar in a large bowl and toss with 1½ tablespoons of the cornstarch and all the dry mustard to fully coat. Reserve.
2. Put the butter in the fondue pot and set to Setting 4. Once butter is melted, add the shallot and apple; sauté until softened, about 1 to 2 minutes.
3. Add 1 cup of the cider and 1 tablespoon of lemon juice and bring to a simmer (but not boiling).
4. Once the cider begins to simmer, reduce the temperature to Setting 3–3.5. Slowly add the cheese, about ¼ to 1⁄3 of a cup at a time. Use a nonstick whisk (such as a silicone coated one) to work the cheese into the liquid. Once the cheese is fully melted into the cider, gradually add more cheese, little by little, alter nating with the cider as you go, about 1⁄3 to ½ cup at a time. This ensures that the consistency of the fondue will be nice and creamy. (The alcohol in the cider keeps the cheese from separating and from becoming stringy).
5. Once all the cheese has been added (most of the cider will be incorporated as well, but you may have up to ½ cup remaining) make a slurry of the remaining cornstarch and lemon juice by stirring the two together until homogenous. Add the slurry to the fondue and whisk to fully combine. If the fondue is too thick, whisk in additional wine.
6. Reduce the temperature to Setting 3 for serving. The fondue should just simmer, but never come close to boiling. Serve with cubes of crusty bread, soft or hard pretzels and blanched vegetables.
*For an alcohol-free version, use 2¼ cups of regular apple cider combined with ¼ cup of apple cider vinegar.