A classic communal Alpine dish, Fondue is a classic, and quite easy to make. Grate the Gruyere, Vacherin Fribourgeois & Appenzeller in advance (in the morning, or day before), wrap up tightly to prevent drying out, and store in the fridge. This way, everything is ready to go when you’re ready to eat: The cheeses are melted into a bubbling mixture of white wine & cornstarch. Keep stirring until silky smooth, and season with pepper & a dash of kirsch. A variety of delicious accompaniments are suitable: cut bread, cornichons, small boiled potations, or any blanched vegetable that can survive being dipped in hot cheese!
- 1 baguette
- 1 pound small potatoes (bite-size)
- 1 garlic clove, halved
- 1 cup dry white wine
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 2 ½ pounds Gruyère (grate coarsely)
- 8 ounces Appenzeller (grate coarsely)
- 8 ounces Vacherin Fribourgeois (Grate coarsely. If too soft to grate, cut into small cubes.)
- 1 tablespoon kirschwasser
- Freshly ground black pepper, according to preference
- 17 1/2-ounce jar cornichons, (drain and place in a serving bowl)
- 1 egg, optional
- Slice baguette into bite-size pieces, and place in a bowl for serving. Clean/scrub the potatoes, and place in pot of water on a med-high heat. Boil until the potatoes are tender, roughly 20 minutes. Drain, set aside until cool, and place in a serving bowl.
- When 15 minutes out from intended eating time, rub the cut end of the garlic on the inside of the fondue pot – discard garlic. Whisk together the wine & cornstarch, and pour through a fine-mesh strainer into the fondue pot. Place pot on a med-high heat and continue whisking until it comes to a simmer. When at a simmer, turn heat down a little & replace whisk with a wooden spoon. Add the Appenzeller & Gruyère, stir gently in order to melt evenly. When approaching a smooth consistency, lower heat down to low before adding the Vacherin Fribourgeois. The mixture may at times look lumpy or oily, but keep stirring until it returns to a smooth texture.
- Now is the time to adjust the texture to ensure perfect dipping consistency. If too thick (fighting the wooden spoon), thin it slightly with a splash of white wine. Add a tablespoon of kirschwasser, and season with a few grinds of black pepper – stir well. Take fondue pot to table, and keep warm over a lit Sterno – be sure to stir occasionally to prevent the bottom browning. (If too hot, adjust flame down or off. If too cool, solidifying, take back to kitchen and stir over high heat.) Serve alongside your bread, cornichons, and potatoes.
- If you find yourself still hungry after reaching the bottom of the pot, crack an egg directly into the pot and allow to cook on top of the last bits of browning cheese. As the white is just set, and the yolk is still runny, turn off the heat & use your remaining bread for dipping.