Nicole's Favorite Fondue Recipe

Posted on Thursday, April 21, 2022 | By Nicole Easterday |
Easterday Fondue Party

A Cherished Recipe

I lived in Manhattan in my mid-twenties and picked up new friends here and there from different parts of my life. My favorite thing in the world is to throw a party, bringing together and introducing all of those friends. It was during that time that I started throwing fondue parties. I loved the way fondue opened up conversation, giving strangers something benign to talk about. "Oh, have you tried the pear in the cheese sauce? That's my favorite." Before you knew it they were fast friends, bonding over burnt tongues or something delicious.

When I moved to San Francisco, I brought the tradition along with me. Eventually, after marrying Mr. Easterday, I started making fondue parties an Easter tradition - Easter Day with the Easterdays was too cute to pass up.

This year was our 13th annual Easter Day with the Easterdays Fondue Party and after tweaking the recipe for ages I've decided it's time to share it!

Traditional Swiss Fondue with a California Twist

- 1 garlic clove
- 2/3 cup dry white wine
- 1 1/3 cups grated Gruyère
- 1 1/3 cups grated Comté
- 1 1/3 cups grated Holey Cow from Central Coast Creamery
- 1 1/2 tsp Sodium Citrate (or 1 Tbsp cornstarch)
- 2 Tbsp Kirschwasser
- Pinch salt
- 1/4 tsp paprika
- 1/4 tsp nutmeg

Cut the garlic clove and rub it around to scent the inside the fondue pot.

Add the wine and lemon juice to the pot and gradually begin sprinkling in the cheeses, stirring until completely melted. Stir vigorously since we're aiming for a good, strong emulsion.

When the melted cheese begins to simmer sprinkle the sodium citrate over the top and stir vigorously to combine. Then stir in the kirsch. (If using cornstarch, stir it into the kirsch until dissolved then add to the cheese mix together).

Add the remaining ingredients and you're off the races. It's important to keep your heat low to avoid 'breaking' your sauce. If the sauce does break, a little more sodium citrate sprinkled in can usually fix the issue.

What is sodium citrate?
Sodium citrate is the sodium salt of citric acid. The acid helps to form an emulsion in the cheese, ensuring your sauce doesn't 'break'. Using sodium citrate can allow you to experiment with other cheeses beyond the highly meltable Swiss classics!

If you're curious about some of the science, Saveur has a great post from the late, great Pat Polowsky, a brilliant food (specifically cheese) scientist lost to us way too soon. Find it here. 

Now go forth and connect people you love!