How to make Apple and avocado gratin.

Ripe advocado.
Ripe advocado.

fruit and cheese, a classic combination.

Fruit and cheese is a classic combination enjoyed by diners since roman times, and this wonderful, easy to make recipe is the perfect way to turn that combination into a winning dish that will have your guests begging you for the recipe.

This apple and avocado gratin can be served on its own with maybe a little tossed green salad, or as a side dish. It goes really well with cold meats or roasts too.

If you use vegetarian cheese it can also make a great alternative main course to serve at a dinner party, or even for Christmas day lunch.

This quantity will serve eight people with a fairly generous portion. Or ten if they have smaller portions.


Ingredients.


4 very ripe avocado pears.

6 sweet dessert apples.

1 pint of milk, cream or half and half.

3oz flour.

Salt and pepper to taste.

3 tsp wholegrain mustard.

6oz grated cheese, cheddar or stilton work well.

2oz butter.

Juice of one lemon.

2oz fresh breadcrumbs.

How to make the dish.

Method.

First put your grill on to heat up, you can finish this dish off in the oven but it really does work best under the grill or broiler. In a large heavy based saucepan put the butter, flour, mustard and milk. Over a medium heat bring this mixture to the boil slowly stirring continuously with a hand whisk or wooden spoon. Don’t leave this mixture and don’t stop stirring or it will go all lumpy and be unusable.

Don’t panic if it looks a bit odd at this stage, it will all come together in the end, trust me. This is a very simple way of making a basic white sauce without having to bother making a roux, which can be quite scary! When the sauce is smooth and creamy looking remove it from the heat.

Stir in half the cheese and beat well, now season to taste. If you are using stilton I would crumble it in instead of grating it, it can take forever to get the grater clean after stilton. Peel the avocados, cut in half lengthwise and remove the large seed, slice thinly lengthwise. Peel and core the apples and cut them into thin slices. Use a little of the lemon juice to rub on the cut edges to stop the fruit turning brown. In one large dish, or eight small gratin dishes, layer up the apples and avocados.

Pour the slightly cooled cheese sauce over the top of the fruit. Mix the left over grated cheese with the breadcrumbs and sprinkle over the top of the fruit. Put the dishes under a hot grill until the cheese has bubbled and gone all crispy. Serve at once.

Make in advance to save you time on the day.

This gratin can be made in advance and stored in the fridge for a day, don’t grill it if you are going to keep it this way. Take it out of the fridge thirty minutes before finishing it off under the grill or broiler.

I find that if I give it three or four minutes in the microwave before grilling it will be piping hot throughout. If you find that the gratin has gone a little too crispy don’t worry, just put a little more cheese over the top to melt in and hide the crispy bits.

For many more vegetarian and vegan recipes, tips and ideas please take the time to check out my blog here. Thank you.

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