Paxton and Whitfield has been serving the finest, occasionally stinky, cheeses since 1797, so it is with good authority that we offer this recipe for a Stilton fondue. This is stuff best served with a side of friends and good wine, and a general laissez-faire attitude towards cheese splotches on the table cloth. Just don’t expect to be productive afterwards – the best fondues end in a food coma. Because any other kind is a fon-don’t.
1 clove of garlic, cut lengthwise
200ml dry, still cider
500g blue Stilton cut into small cubes
125ml crème fraîche/fromage blanc/double cream
1 tbsp of corn our (or plain flour is okay)
2 tbsps of chopped chives
A splash of Paxton and Whitfield’s Monbazillac dessert wine
Rub the cut edge of the garlic clove around the inside of a heavy-based fondue pan to leave a coating. Discard the rest of the garlic, pour in the cider (but keep a couple of tablespoons back) and heat to a gentle simmer.
In a small bowl mix together the reserved cider and the flour into a smooth paste. Gradually add the cheese to the pan, stirring as it melts into the cider, but do not let the mixture come to the boil as it will split into oil and solids. Once the cheese is all melted, add and stir in the flour paste, and you should see the mixture thicken.
Just before serving whisk in the crème fraîche and chives, then the sweet wine, and allow to warm back up. Transfer to the table to serve over an oil or gel burner to keep it hot at the table. For savoury tastes try dipping nuts and seeds, chunks of crusty bread, new potatoes, celery, red and green peppers. Or for the sweeter tooth, dip in slices of apple or pear, red grapes, or walnuts. All is great with a glass (or the rest of the bottle) of the Monbazillac wine.