Vacherin Mont d’Or Cheese Fondue

Vacherin Mont d'Or Cheese Fondue

My first impulse is to tell you that this is my favourite cheese and that Vacherin Mont d’Or Cheese fondue is my favourite too. But, with my fingers hovering above the keyboard, I’m questioning myself. How can I say of all the hundreds of cheeses I’ve loved over the years, that this is my favourite? What does this cheese have above all those others?

Well, seasonality. Vacherin is only produced over winter months, keeping its quality above quantity, it teases you and leaves you wanting more. It has a flavour somewhere between a soft ripened cheese and a washed rind cheese, hitting the sweet spot of a Brie de Meaux and an Epoisse. It’s ripened in spruce which adds a woodsy earthiness that is truly unique.

The seasonal availability and depth of flavour in this little beauty lends itself perfectly to making fondue, which, is one of my favourite meals. Not something I make often as I don’t spend my time sprinting up the Alps and that’s the kind of calorie intake you need to burn off the average cheese fondue dinner. There’s lots of ways to make cheese fondue, all of them simple, and this has to be one of the easiest with one of the tastiest results.

Read some more about Vacherin Mont d’Or.

Vacherin Mont d'Or Cheese Fondue
How it looks once it’s been in the oven.

How to make Vacherin Mont d’Or Cheese Fondue

Preparation Time: 5 minutes
Baking Time: 15 to 20 minutes

Serves 1 to 2
1 small Vacherin Mont D’or cheese (in season from September to April)
1 large garlic clove cut into 3 pieces
2 tbsp white wine
A pinch of fresh thyme leaves chopped finely

Method

  1. Put the oven on to heat it to 200°C/400°F.
  2. Remove the plastic coating from the cheese.
  3. Cover the outer carton in silver foil.
  4. Scoop out a spoonful of cheese from the middle and set it aside.
  5. With a sharp knife pierce three holes in the cheese around the scooped-out section in the middle.  Push the garlic pieces into these holes until about half the clove is halfway into the cheese.
  6. Sprinkle the thyme into the scooped-out section in the middle and pour over the wine.
  7. Return your spoonful of scooped out cheese.
  8. Place the cheese in the oven and bake until it is melted and bubbling.  When you remove it from the oven, give it a stir through with a fork to mix in the flavours. Serve immediately.

Tips and Variations

  • The cheese can be served raclette style poured over some boiled potatoes with some pickled onions and gherkins on the side, or fondue style with some bread for dipping and dredging.
  • This cooking technique works really nicely with camembert style cheeses.  By that I mean small, soft ripened or washed rind cheeses that come in wooden containers.


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