Ingredients to Serve 8
- 6 slices French bread
- 6 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 2 cups milk
- 1¼ cups heavy cream
- ¾ cups apple cider
- 6 tablespoons flour
- 2 tablespoons plus ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
- ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 3½ cups Tillamook Vintage White Cheddar Cheese
- 1 cup gruyère cheese
- 4 cups medium shell or elbow pasta to preference
- 3-4 quarts water for pasta
Heat oven to 375°F. Butter 8 Individual serving baking / petite casserole dishes. Remove crust from bread, cut into ½ ” cubes and place in bowl. Melt 2 tablespoons butter over medium heat. Pour melted butter over bread and toss to coat. Put bread cubes into a food processor and process until fine crumbs form. Set bread crumbs aside.
In a medium saucepan over medium heat, heat milk, cream and apple cider until hot. While milk mixture is heating, melt remaining 4 tablespoons butter in a large high-sided skillet over medium heat. When butter is melted and bubbling, add flour. Cook, stirring, for 1 minute.
Pour hot milk mixture slowly into skillet with flour-butter mixture, whisking constantly. Continue cooking and whisking over medium heat until sauce bubbles and becomes thick. Remove from heat and stir in ½ teaspoon salt, pepper, nutmeg, cayenne pepper, mustard, 2½ cups cheddar and ½ cup gruyère. Combine and set aside.
Fill a large saucepan with 3 to 4 quarts of water, add remaining 2 tablespoons salt and bring to boil. Add pasta and cook slightly less than what the package calls for. Pasta should be slightly underdone. Pour pasta into colander and rinse under cold water draining well.
Stir pasta into cheese sauce and transfer to prepared casserole dishes. Sprinkle remaining 1½ cups cheese over pasta and spread bread crumbs on top to cover. Bake for about 30 minutes or until golden brown on top.