Apple Beer Mac and Cheese
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.
- 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
- Preheat oven to 350˚F (180˚C).
- 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.
- Pasta Apple Cheese Layer: In large pot of boiling, salted water, cook pasta according to the package directions. Drain and rinse lightly. Set aside.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.