Rosemary and caramelised apple Welsh rarebit
- December 2014
- 50g salted butter
- 3 tbsp soft brown sugar
- 3 fresh rosemary sprigs
- 3 braeburn or cox apples, peeled, cored and cut into thick wedges
For the rarebit
- 250g grated strong cheese (a mix of vintage cheddar, lincolnshire poacher or lancashire – or any of them on their own), or vegetarian alternatives
- ¾ tsp English mustard powder
- Pinch cayenne pepper
- 3 medium free-range egg yolks
- Splash Worcestershire sauce or vegetarian alternative
- 80ml good quality cider
- 4 thick slices good quality brown bread, toasted
- To make the caramelised apples, put the butter, sugar and rosemary in a frying pan set over a medium heat. Stir as the butter bubbles, until the sugar has melted and the butter smells biscuity. Add the apples, turn up the heat to medium high and cook for 5-8 minutes, turning halfway through, until the apples are caramelised and just softened. Don’t overcrowd the pan or the apples will start to steam (you might need to work in batches). Remove the apples from the pan and set aside on baking paper (see tip).
- To make the rarebit, put all the ingredients except for the toast in a mixing bowl or food processor and mix or whizz until it forms a thick paste. Taste and season with a little salt and plenty of black pepper.
- Heat the grill to medium-high. Divide the apples equally among the toast slices, then top with the cheese mixture, pressing it down firmly. Put on a baking tray lined with foil and grill until the cheese is golden, bubbling and melted. It will spill a little off the toast, but just scoop it back up to serve. Cool for 1-2 minutes, then slice into halves or wedges and serve straightaway.
The cooked apples get very sticky as they cool, so make sure they’re on baking paper, not merely greaseproof (they may stick
to the latter, which isn’t waxed).
Make the cheese mixture up to the end of step 2, then chill, covered, for 12 hours. Prepare the apples up to 12 hours in advance. Cool, then store in an airtight container somewhere cool.
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