For 4-5 people (assume 200-250g cheese per person)Option 1:
- 400g Gruyere (aged = better)
- 400g Vacherin Fribourgeois (tough to find)
- 400g Gruyere (young, easy to find)
- 400g Gruyere (aged is better, otherwise Appenzeler cheese, otherwise young Gruyere)
- 100g Emmentaler
The cheese should be grated, except for emmental and vacherin, which should be cut into small cubes.
1) Cut a garlic clove in 2 and rub exposed face all over the inside of the pot, you can chop it up after and leave it in the pot
2) Add dry white wine to pot (about 300ml for above cheese quantity). More wine makes it more runny, I’ve started to like it thicker, so you can play around with the quantity – 250ml-300ml should give a nice consistency though. Just with the amount of wine, you can almost double the number of people that you can serve (more runny and you can serve more people).
3) Add 1 level tablespoon of corn starch to the wine (pretty much independent of amount of cheese). Don’t put too much or it will taste starchy. You can also use flour, but it’s trickier to get the cheese well blended.
4) Add 1/4-1/2 small lemon’s juice (~1 tbsp)
5) Bring all this to a boil (on the stove top, not the heater on the table) and make sure the starch is well mixed in
6) If you brought to a boil on high, then turn it down to less high (medium)
7) Add the grated cheese, 1 handful at a time, at this point you have to stir continuously in figure 8 pattern with a wooden spoon (ideally, spoon has a hole in it). Make sure you keep stirring at all times, until served at the table, in figure 8, getting stuff off the bottom and keeping everything as uniform as possible. It’s all in the wrist.
8) After all the grated cheese is in and blended, add diced cheese. The whole cheese melting part should take about 10 minutes (in terms of what temperature you need)
9) Keep stirring until slightly bubbling and mixture is uniform (if it takes forever to get to a boil, then the heat should be higher)
10 Tell someone to light the heater on the table
11) Add 1 to 1.5 shots of Kirsch
12) Stir in the Kirsch (~1-2 minutes) and keep stirring until back to a slight boil
13) Sprinkle some pepper and nutmeg on top for decoration (not strictly necessary), bring to the table and make sure that people start stirring immediately with their breads. Minimize the amount of time where no stirring is going on.
Make sure that people keep stirring when they are dipping their bread
Adjust the temperature of the heater to maintain very slight bubbling of the fondue (more bubbling if people aren’t doing there job stirring with the bread).You need a bread with a good crust, usually a couple of baguettes will be enough for this quantity (I usually get a third just in case). I like to cut into 3/4″ thick slices and let people break up the bread into their own preferred size chunks (that way, it’s their fault if their piece falls in the pot).
If the cheese separates (it’s pretty obvious, you get a thick componenent on the bottom of the pot and almost just oil on the top layer), then you can try fixing it. Use another tablespoon (or less) of corn starch into a shotglass of kirsch, stir it well, then add it to the fondue and keep stirring; this should fix it… You probably need to do this on the stove with slightly more heat than the heater. It’s normal that near the end of eating the fondue you get a little bit of oil looking stuff on the top, about a tablespoon’s worth, nothing to worry about.