My best memories were spent camping on Lake Champlain. On Friday nights after my parents were out of work we packed up our popup camper and all piled in my mom's van and headed up to Addison VT's DAR State Campground. Our weekends consisted of s'mores, bbq, cat fishing, riding our bikes, exploring revolutionary war forts, looking for good skipping rocks, digging for clay dogs.... and keeping our eyes peeled for Champ the sea monster, who is believed to live in the deepest parts of Lake Champlain.
As I got older I stopped camping with my parents as often, but lucky me I married into a family of Vermonters. Most of my inlaws live in VT so we get to visit often. When my husband and I were newly engaged and wedding planning my husband had one request.... that we get married in VT. So we found this beautiful farm that is rented out just for events up in Hyde Park, (just outside of Stowe) the perfect spot for a country wedding!
So today... I have an ode to my favorite state... The Vermont Lovers Macaroni and Cheese.
This macaroni is not your average cheesy pasta. It's base is made up of Vermont made Woodchuck Hard Cider and then filled with a ton of Cabot Cheddar Cheese... and even a little King Arthur Flour (gotta keep it in the family!) Throughout the pasta there are tiny bits of granny smith apple.... I know what some of you are thinking. Cheese and fruit... together... that's gross.
WAIT. Don't go! Please I promise you this works. Apples and cheddar are a match made in heaven. It is one of the best sweet savory combinations in the food world. This is a dish you will want to serve your family over and over. Even if you have never visited the Green Mountain State... you will fall in love with these flavors!
Vermont Lover's Hard Cider Macaroni and Cheese
1 13.5 oz box of pasta
1 cup Woodchuck Hard Cider ( I use Amber but the 802 or Granny Smith would work well too)
1 cup heavy cream
3 tbs butter
3 tbs whole wheat flour ( you can use AP... I just only had wheat on hand)
1 granny smith apple peeled, cored and diced
1 yellow onion diced
18 oz Cabot Reserve Cheddar, shredded (super aged! )
Prepare pasta according to box directions. Meanwhile prepare your cheese sauce.
In a medium sauce pan over medium low heat, add butter, diced onions and apples together. Saute for approximately 5-10 minutes or until the onions are translucent. Sprinkle flour over them mixing continuously until the flour has coated all of the onions and apples. (It should appear pasty) Slowly pour in cider and cream. Whisking constantly.
Bring the mixture up to a boil. Stir in 12 oz of the shredded cheese. Mix until smooth.
Pour cheese sauce over the cooked and strained pasta. Pour into a medium baking dish. Top with left over cheese.
Bake at 350 for 20 minutes or until the sides are bubbly.