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Apple Beer Mac & Cheese

Apple Beer Mac and Cheese

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Sweet apples and hoppy beer add a new layer of complexity and flavour to an old favourite. Switch it up by stirring in some chopped bacon for extra flavour.

You’ll Need

  • For the sauce
  • ¼ cup unsalted butter
  • ¼ cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 3 cups milk
  • ½ cup crème fraiche
  • ½ cup strong IPA beer (7%)
  • 2 Tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 ½ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp freshly grated nutmeg
  • For the pasta, apple, and cheese layer
  • 3 cups mini lumaconi or elbow pasta
  • 1 Tbsp unsalted butter
  • 3 cups peeled and grated Golden Delicious apples (about 3 large)
  • ¾ cup Panko breadcrumbs, toasted
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 cups lightly packed shredded Black River Medium Cheddar cheese
  • 1 cup lightly packed shredded Canadian Muenster cheese
  • 1 cup lightly packed shredded Gunn’s Hill Five Brothers cheese
  • 1 cup lightly packed shredded Sylvan Star Canadian Smoked Gouda cheese
  • 1 cup lightly packed shredded Canadian Raclette cheese

Prep and Cook

  • 1
    Preheat oven to 350˚F (180˚C).
  • 2
    In large pot, melt butter on medium-high heat. Add flour and bay leaf and whisk until smooth; cooking for 2 minutes or until golden brown. Whisk in milk in a slow, steady stream. Whisk until smooth; bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer, whisking constantly, until thick enough to coat spoon, about 8 to 12 minutes. Turn off heat. Whisk crème fraiche, beer, mustard, salt and nutmeg into pot. Remove and discard bay leaf.
  • 3
    Pasta Apple Cheese Layer: In large pot of boiling, salted water, cook pasta according to the package directions. Drain and rinse lightly. Set aside.
  • 4
    Meanwhile, in medium skillet, melt butter on medium heat. Add apples and any accumulated juices; sauté until soft, about 2 minutes. In small bowl. Combine breadcrumbs and oil; set aside.
  • 5
    Spread one-half of the pasta in 13x9-inch glass baking dish. Pour one half of the sauce, top with one-half each of the Cheddar, Muenster, Five Brothers. Smoked Gouda and Raclette chesses. Top with one-half of the apples and stir lightly. Repeat with remaining pasta, sauce, cheeses and apples; stir lightly. Sprinkle evenly with reserved breadcrumb mixture on top.
  • 6
    Place baking dish on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake uncovered until hot, breadcrumbs are golden brown and edges are bubbling, about 45 minutes. Let stand for 5 minutes.

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