Celebrate the best of the season with a fun Apple Cider Cheese Fondue! This easy dip is a decidedly delicious fall appetizer whose relevance stretches long into winter & makes the most of that classic pair- sweet, crisp apples and salty cheese.
Did someone say melted cheese? You’re going to love dipping pretzels, pears, apples, smoked sausage, even sour dough bread into oodles of hot, melty smoked gouda, swiss and sharp cheddar cheeses with just a hint of spicy apple cider!
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Why You’ll Love This Recipe
Grab some skewers and get ready to dip! Fondue is the perfect anytime party food. Why?
Don’t get distracted by the name “fondue.” It’s more fun than fancy. And if you like hot cheese dip (who doesn’t?), then fondue is definitely for you. Plus, while traditional cheese fondue does include a dry white wine, beer (or for this version a hard cider) in the ingredients list, this recipe is made without alcohol using a mixture of apple cider and rich broth to create a nice full flavor. So it’s fun for everyone!
Fun Fondue Facts
- This way of cooking and eating together over one pot is a Swiss winter tradition.
- While we think of fondue as party food, in Switzerland fondue is considered a one-pot comfort meal.
- If a woman drops her bread in the fondue pot, she must kiss all the men at the table. (This might influence who you invite to your fondue party!)
Ingredients & Recipe Overview
I’ll walk through an overview of ingredients & steps in these next sections along with helpful tips!
Look for specifics at the end of the post in the recipe card.
- apple cider
- smoked gouda cheese
- swiss cheese
- sharp cheese
- chicken broth
- half & half
- minced garlic
- coarse ground black pepper
What to dip in your fondue
We usually keep it simple and snacky with:
- smoked sausage,
- sour dough or a crusty french bread,
- sliced pears & apples,
- even pretzels.
But you could make it a meal by serving:
- thinly sliced filet mignon,
- pork chops,
- brussel sprouts,
- and baby potatoes!
How to Make the Best Homemade Fondue
- First and foremost, fondue is about the cheese. So whatever you do, make sure you purchase good quality block cheese to make your fondue.
- Grate your cheese using either a food processor with a grater blade or a box grater. Packaged grated cheese does not melt smooth and creamy because it is coated with potato starch or other non clumping agents to keep it from sticking together.
- Make your fondue on the stovetop in a sauce pan, then transfer to your mini crock pot or fondue pot.
- Be patient. It really pays off to add your cheese to your pot of simmering broth, cider and garlic a little at a time. Sprinkle in a little handful of cheese, then stir, stir, stir until it melts before adding more.
- Get ready to stir and stir and stir some more. Keep the heat on medium and use a whisk to stir constantly until your cheese is smooth and shiny and fully incorporated into the broth & cider. This might take a good 4 minutes of constant stirring.
Other Party Dip Recipes You’ll Love
- Whipped Feta with Apples, Honey & Walnuts
- Fluffy Butterscotch Pumpkin Dip
- Southern Cranberries & Cheddar Skillet Dip
- Million Dollar Shrimp & Crab Dip
- Hot Cream Cheese Chicken Dip
Apple Cider Cheese Fondue
- 1 C apple cider
- ½ C chicken broth
- ½ teaspoon minced garlic
- 1 C grated smoked gouda
- 1 C grated swiss cheese
- 1 C grated sharp cheddar cheese
- 1 Tbsp cornstarch
- ¼ C half & half, room temperature
- ¼ tsp coarse ground black pepper
- Turn on crock pot or fondue pot to heat.
- Grate cheeses. Add to a medium mixing bowl with black pepper. Toss together until mixed. Set aside.
- In a medium sauce pan over medium heat, bring cider, broth and garlic to a simmer.
- Add cheese to simmering broth and cider a small handful at a time. Stir each handful until completely melted before adding another. Continue until all the cheese has been added. In a measuring cup, whisk cornstarch into half & half.
- Pour in half & half while continuing to stir. Stir until cheese is shiny and smooth. Transfer to heated crock pot or fondue pot and serve.