Swiss Fondue without (much) Wine

We really just do fondue on Valentines Day, but it’s a tradition I really look forward to. However, since I’m not a wine drinker, I’ve found that all the recipes I’ve tried have a little too strong of a wine taste to suit us. This year, I played with it, and I liked the result. I’ll include the original recipe amount for wine as well (the recipe comes from the Best International Recipe), because I’m sure there are many other people who feel quite the opposite of me!

Also, if you haven’t ever purchased Gruyere and/or Emmentaler, you will probably be surprised at how expensive they are (usually about $20 total for the amount needed in this recipe). You can find Gruyere at Costco at a more reasonable cost, but I’m not sure about Emmentaler. Using a nicer cheese makes all the difference, though, since the ingredient list is short, but you should definitely feel free to experiment to fit your budget and taste. In Rhode Island, we asked our Farmstead people for a good fondue mix, and they gave us some amazing cheeses, including one called Appenzeller, I believe. Here in Utah, Harmons has a really nice selection (including bags of preshredded Gruyere and Emmentaler–how convenient! But, I haven’t bought it yet). I’ve even used a mix of Gruyere and plain Swiss when things were tight, and it was fine. Not amazing, but highly edible.

Swiss Fondue

8 oz. Gruyere cheese, shredded
8 oz. Emmentaler cheese, shredded
1 1/2 T. cornstarch
1 clove of garlic, peeled and sliced in half
1/8 t. freshly ground nutmeg
salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
1 3/4 c. dry white wine
1 c. chicken stock (or broth)
1/2 c. apple juice
1/4 c. white wine (or take the wine completely out, and just use 3/4 c. apple juice)

1. In a medium bowl, combine the shredded cheeses and toss with cornstarch.

2. If you have a fondue pot, rub the inside of it with the garlic clove. If you don’t, rub the inside of a heavy-bottomed pan with the garlic. Either way, in a heavy-bottomed pan, bring the wine or chicken stock, apple juice, and wine to a simmer. Once the liquid is simmering, add the cheese a handful at a time, whisking after each addition to incorporate. Then, add the nutmeg, and salt and pepper to taste.

3. Transfer the cheese mixture to a fondue pot, if you have one, or simply bring the pot to the middle of the table and enjoy!

Note: When the fondue cools down, it will get stringy. You can remedy this by either having it over a sterno can, or placing it back on the stove to reheat (but DON’T put a ceramic fondue pot on the stove–it will crack. I’ve done this).

We’ve fondued many different foods, but our favorites are cooked and sliced apple chicken sausage, roasted or steamed broccoli and cauliflower, and of course, cubed french bread.


4 thoughts on “Swiss Fondue without (much) Wine

  1. Jessica Bunker says:

    I’m really in a mood for fondue now! There are all sorts of fantastic versions of fondue in Switzerland and every region has its own twist. Gruyere and plain old Swiss will work because Swiss cheese is just a (usually low quality) attempt at Emmentaler. The traditional measurements are two parts Gruyere to one part Emmentaler. Appenzeller is commonly used in Easter Switzerland fondue recipes, generally in combination with Vacherin. We also really like tomato fondue, where a can of tomatoes is added to the fondue and the fondue is often ladeled over potatoes as well as having things dipped in it. Yum!


  2. Mishie says:

    Made this for Christmas dinner and my family loved it! We have gone to a fondue restaurant and my kids said this recipe was better than the restaurants!!! I was looking for a recipe without alcohol as my husband had a drinking problem many years ago and just doesn’t want to ever risk being drawn back in, so this was perfect. Thanks for sharing this.


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