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Apple Cider Cheddar Fondue


4 cups (about 1 pound) sharp Cheddar cheese, freshly shredded
1 teaspon plus 1-1/2 teaspoons cornstarch
1-1/4 cup sparkling apple cider
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
Freshly ground black pepper to taste


For dipping:

Bite-size pieces of cooked chicken, pork sausages, waffle pieces, pizzelles (thin Italian cookies), strudel, apple wedges, cubes of Cheddar cheese.

In a medium-size bowl, toss the cheese with the cornstarch.

In a medium-size, heavy-bottomed saucepan, heat the cider and lemon juice over medium heat until barely simmering. Add the cheese, a handful at a time, stirring until the cheese is melted before adding more. When all the cheese has been added, stir in the salt, cinnamon, nutmeg and pepper, to taste. Cook over low heat until thickened about 3 to 5 minutes.

Transfer fondue to an enamel or ceramic fondue pot and keep warm over a fondue burner. Serve immediately.

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