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Absolutely gourmet, especially served in a hollowed-out red Delicious apple, as was done at the Orchid Restaurant in Baltimore, circa 1988. I DON'T usually do the apple thing, though. Just a couple of tips: Don't use frozen apple juice; it's a bit too sweet. Cider is better. Can be made ahead and kept warm in crockpot.
- 1 large apple, peeled and chopped, Macintosh preferred
- 1 cup sliced onion (1 large or 2 medium)
- 1⁄2 cup chopped carrot (2 medium)
- 1⁄2 cup chopped celery (2 stalks)
- 1⁄2 teaspoon thyme
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 tablespoons canola oil or 2 tablespoons butter
- 3 tablespoons flour
- 2 cups apple cider
- 1⁄2 cup chablis
- little sherry wine
- 2 cups milk
- 6 -8 ounces shredded cheddar cheese
- 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1⁄2 teaspoon dry mustard
- white pepper
- In a 3 quart saucepan, cook apple, onion, carrot, celery, thyme and bay leaves in butter over medium heat 5 minutes or until onion is wilted. Stir in flour until smooth; cook about 2 minutes until bubbly.
- Stir in apple cider, Chablis, sherry and milk, bring to boil. Immediately reduce heat and simmer 20-25 minutes until slightly thickened and vegs are tender.
- Add cheese and remaining ingredients. Heat stirring constantly until cheese melts. Do not boil.
- Remove bay leaves before serving.