West Country Rarebit

West Country Rarebit

Ingredients

75g cider, or apple juice
5g (rounded teaspoon) plain flour
5g (two rounded teaspoons) English mustard powder
130g mature strong Cheddar cheese, grated or crumbled
Worcestershire sauce, to taste
0.2g (1/8 teaspoon, or to taste) ground cayenne pepper

easy to makeSlightly more complex than grilled cheese on toast but in its own way equally delicious. There used to be many different sorts of rarebits, you sometimes see them spelled as "rabbits" – an English rarebit would be made with good red wine – and they somewhat grew out of the traditions of 19th century gentleman’s clubs.

Wales was renowned back then for toasted cheese on toast served almost “raclette style”, that is, placing the cheese near the flames of an open fire so it became toasted and melting, then this would be scraped off the cheese onto warm toast, often a great barley bread somewhat like our recipe here, according to Lady Llandover’s cookery book from the 1860s.

So as BakeryBits is a proudly West-Country company we thought we’d give our “Welsh rarebit” a Somerset-edge using apple cider and great mature cheddar. Once made it can be kept in the fridge, and spread and grilled on toast when you’re feeling peckish.

For 2-3 large pieces of toast, serves one or two

Method

Put the cider in a saucepan, whisk in the flour and mustard powder then stir in the cheese. Place over a medium heat on the stovetop and bring almost to the boil, stirring all the time, until the cheese is melted and the mixture is thick and glossy. Add Worchester sauce and cayenne pepper to taste and it’s ready to serve.

Simply spread this, cold if possible on warm toast, and grill until brown and bubbling. Draw a criss-cross in the top with a blunt knife, splash with more Worcestershire sauce, and eat immediately.