Make Ahead

Peppered New England Thyme Fondue

February 12, 2011
2 Ratings
  • Serves 4
Author Notes

Revisiting my classic fondue recipe this week, I am adding aleppo pepper, shallots, and thyme to come up with a new recipe. I like the way the spices and herbs bracket the cheeses. I am combining a wonderful Grafton cheddar with a parmesan reggiano. This fondue offers a subtle tangy sweet and sour balance with a little kick from the pepper...maybe this is a desperate try to wake up New England during this waaay too long winter...really it is high time for a change. - Sagegreen —Sagegreen

Test Kitchen Notes

Sagegreen has come up with a fabulous new twist on classic fondue with her Peppered New England thyme version. All the wonderful things about classic fondue remain intact, with the additional notes of thyme, shallots, aleppo pepper, cinnamon applesauce and maple syrup giving it a whole new (England) meaning. I tested it twice; once cleaving to the original recipe, and the second time around giving it a bit of Brooklyn by using an ale from a local microbrewery instead of the Sam Adams and a fine aged New York State cheddar in place of the Grafton. It was equally yummy! —wssmom

What You'll Need
  • splash of olive oil
  • 3 ounces finely minced shallots
  • 1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 ounce preferably homemade rustic applesauce (with cinnamon)
  • 1/2 tablespoon dijon mustard
  • 1 ounce cider vinegar
  • 1/2 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon fresh Meyer lemon zest
  • 1 teaspoon aleppo pepper flakes, to taste
  • 4 ounces Sam Adams Boston ale
  • 6 ounces finely grated aged New England cheddar cheese, Grafton 3-4 year if possible
  • 2 ounces finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
  • 1/2 tablespoon arrowroot (or flour)
  • artisan bread cubes or crisp apple slices
  • additional aleppo pepper flakes
  1. Slowly cook the minced shallots in the olive oil in a heavy sauce pan or Dutch oven until caramelized. Stir in the thyme leaves, applesauce, mustard, cider vinegar, maple syrup, aleppo pepper and lemon zest. Using an immersion blender puree (or transfer to a blender to puree and return to the pot). Bring to a boil.
  2. Stir in the beer and continue to heat.
  3. Mix the arrowroot evenly in with the finely grated cheeses and add these slowly to the pot, stirring constantly until fully melted. Transfer to a fondue pot and keep warm while serving with artisan bread cubes or sliced crisp apples or whatever you like for dipping. You can offer additional aleppo pepper for those who can just never get enough.
Contest Entries

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Table9
  • Lizthechef
  • TasteFood
  • kmartinelli
  • Sundayinthekitchen

25 Reviews

Table9 February 18, 2011
This looks so yummy Sagegreen!
Sagegreen February 18, 2011
Thanks, Table9. I quickly glanced at your lovely entries, which look amazing.
Lizthechef February 15, 2011
When I was a kid, my folks and I visited the Grafton cheese "factory". It was tiny then, but I remember how wonderful the cheese tasted. Another lovely recipe!
Sagegreen February 15, 2011
So nice to hear from you Ltc! Thanks. What a lovely childhood memory. We only toured Pepperidge Farm when I was a kid, but Grafton may be a future field trip.
TasteFood February 15, 2011
I love this - it sounds like an English Pub Ploughman's Lunch in a bowl. You had me with the Sam Adams.
Sagegreen February 15, 2011
Thanks, TasteFood. What a clever analogy! I do think it is a great use of Sam Adams, too.
kmartinelli February 15, 2011
This recipe is just crazy enough to work - I love the combination of unlikely ingredients. It really does sound delicious. And also somehow captures the essence of New England. Thank you for sharing! I look forward to making it!
Sagegreen February 15, 2011
Thanks, km. Let me know what you think if you do make this!
Sundayinthekitchen February 13, 2011
This sounds fantastic!! Not at all what I think of when I think fondue. Way to kick it up a notch, Sagegreen....
Sagegreen February 13, 2011
Thanks, Sundayinthekitchen!
gingerroot February 12, 2011
This sounds delicious with all of the flavors you have in here - bright with spice - perfect for bread, but I love your suggestion of dipping apple slices! YUM.
Sagegreen February 13, 2011
As much as I love the elegance of the Swiss fondue, the comfort of the cheddar is pretty great....and with apples this is refreshing, too.
testkitchenette February 12, 2011
I love your flavors! I make a cheese fondue with Belgian beer think the cheese and beer combination when all molten are awesome!
Sagegreen February 12, 2011
Thanks, tk. Yes, I think there is something very down to earth about the cheese and ale combo. Hope you will post your recipe, too.
drbabs February 12, 2011
So I think it would only take me about 4 hours to drive to your house....
Sounds really good! I love aleppo pepper too!
Sagegreen February 12, 2011
Thanks, drbabs.We so have to meet up! I think I have some works that will be accepted for a Brooklyn show at the Williamsburg Art and History Building this April btw.
mrslarkin February 12, 2011
drbabs, I'll ride shotgun. ;) This sounds great, Sagegreen!
hardlikearmour February 12, 2011
I think sagegreen should bring the fondue out to the west coast, where the weather is not quite so frightful!
Sagegreen February 13, 2011
I wonder how long it would take to ride shotgun out to Oregon! That would be such a fun road trip. Lol.
mrslarkin February 13, 2011
Could you imagine a bunch of foodies driving cross-country?? I think it would take us weeks, what with all the eating. And pit stops. ;)
Sagegreen February 13, 2011
Yes, exactly! Imagine all the recipes we could make along the way!! Early retirement and a new book anyone?
hardlikearmour February 13, 2011
I drove from Madison, WI to Portland, OR when I moved out here. Took about 2.5 days (was 2000 miles) w/ minimal stopping along the way. Soooo, I figure from the east coast w/ a bunch of foodies would likely take at least 10 days.
drbabs February 13, 2011
Isn't that what Jane and Michael Stern did when they wrote "Road Food?"
aargersi February 12, 2011
Yum Sage this sounds REALLY good! I sure hope you guys get some relief from the cold soon, but until you do there is warm cheese to comfort you!
Sagegreen February 12, 2011
Thanks, aargersi. We have a warming trend coming this week. Meanwhile I am so enjoying that aleppo pepper from Austin!!!