Apple Cider Winter Fondue

What is better than having fondue on a cold winter evening.  It’s sort thematic or something isn’t it?  Snow, skiing, the Alps, and so forth.  Yodeling.

Okay, there are no Alps here in the Midwest, and I didn’t plan far enough ahead to rent a pair of cross country skis for neighborhood transportation during the Great Snow of 2014, but it was plenty cold, and when I saw the cheeses already shredded for me in Trader Joe’s, I grabbed them!  I may have even yodeled quietly with excitement when I saw that bag of cheese there at the store.

So we made it home, and then the snow came and we were stuck.  That’s when I realized that I didn’t have any of the other ingredients for fondue.

Bread is an easy fix.  I can bake that myself.  But I usually make a traditional emmenthaler or gruyere fondue which calls for white wine (sometimes I make it with beer for a creamier end result), garlic, the cheeses, and an optional splash of kirsch.

I was out of wine.  Out of beer.  Out of garlic.

Oh boy.  We were in trouble.  I’d already set the expectation with the kids and the husband that it was going to be a fondue night.  I’d already baked the bread.  Their mouths were practically watering.

So I did what any good chef does when faced with an impossible recipe and a bunch of savage, hungry faces.

I improvised.

An you know what?  It was pretty tasty!

So my Post Polar Vortex gift to you is my Seat of the Pants, Desperation Fondue.  It is a sweeter fondue that a traditional emmenthaler fondue, and would be wonderful as an appetizer with some of those long crackers that have the herbs and cheese right on top. Something salty and herb-y to counter and compliment the sweet creaminess of the cheeses.

If you don’t have black garlic, don’t let it stop you!  Just substitute regular garlic.

Apple Cider and Black Garlic Fondue

  • Servings: 2-4
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

A sweet winter fondue.


  • 8 oz shredded emmenthaler
  • 8 oz shredded gruyere
  • 1 cup unfiltered apple cider
  • 2 cloves black garlic, chopped (substitute regular garlic if no black garlic is available)
  • 1 T finely minced or grated red onion
  • 1 T apple cider vinegar, or white vinegar if you don’t have ACV on hand
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. In a sauce pan, combine the apple cider, garlic, and onion and bring to a gentle boil over medium heat. Reduce to a simmer.
  2. Begin adding cheeses one handful at a time, stirring after each addition until the cheeses are melted.  At this stage, you will need to watch the heat carefully and adjust it if the cheeses begin to boil or if they are not melting quickly enough.
  3. Add the vinegar and a few grinds of black pepper and sea salt.
  4. Transfer to your fondue pot and enjoy with bread, apples, rolled prosciutto, and garlic and herb crackers.

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