If fondue seems like a project, you might be surprised at just how easily it comes together. In fact, it's a perfect dish for casual entertaining, even on a busy weeknight. Just grab a fondue pot, set out a few dippers, and invite friends over to dig (or rather, dip) in.
8 oz. Emmentaler cheese, grated, about 2 cups
8 oz. mild Cheddar cheese, grated, about 2 cups
1 Tbs. cornstarch
1 cup dry white wine, such as Sauvignon Blanc
4 tsp. Maille wholegrain mustard
1 large clove garlic, halved and lightly smashed
1 Tbs. finely chopped tarragon
¼ cup kirsch
Freshly ground black pepper
½ lb. combination of pumpernickel bread and sourdough bread, cut into 1-inch cubes, lightly toasted
1 crisp apple, such as Gala or Honeycrisp, cored and cut into wedges, then cut widthwise
1 ripe pear, such as Anjou or Bartlett, cored and cut into wedges, then cut widthwise
In a large bowl, toss the cheeses with the cornstarch.
In a 3-quart saucepan, combine the wine, Maille wholegrain mustard, and garlic, and bring to a boil over high heat. Then turn off the heat and let stand for 5 minutes.
Remove and discard the garlic.
Return the pan to medium-low heat and add the cheese mixture to the pot large handfuls at a time, stirring each batch so that the cheese doesn’t clump as it melts.
Continue adding and stirring until all of the cheese is melted, smooth, and thick, adjusting the heat as necessary to maintain barely a simmer. Stir in the tarragon and kirsch and season to taste with pepper.
To serve, transfer the mixture to a fondue pot. Set the fondue pot over a low flame at the table to keep it warm. Serve with the bread cubes, apple, and pear for dipping.