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I've named this dish on the strength of the fact that I made it with an excellent, dry, full cider from Herefordshire – rather than the beer that is usually used. I might just as well have concocted a Somerset rarebit with a few slugs of cider and a handsome hunk of Keen's Cheddar, also made in Somerset. The essential point here is that a good cider combined with a good cheese makes an extremely good rarebit. The difference between a rarebit and cheese on toast is that the unctuous cheese sauce is poured right over the toast so that it soaks in a little, settling right into the fabric of the bread as it sizzles under the grill.
Most traditional ciders contain an astonishing amount of sugar, even the so-called dry ones, which makes matching wine to cider-based cooking quite difficult. A lively English ale would work well, adding a malty tang to the dish.
Typical values per serving:
This recipe was first published in November 2006.