High Road Vanilla Melt
This gooey grilled cheese sandwich contains Vanilla Fleur de Sel ice cream, making for an indulgent snack or dessert. Chef Keith Schroeder likes to use Grafton Village Cheese Co.’s 4-Year Aged Cheddar in this sandwich, but any aged cheddar will work. You’ll need an ice cream maker for this recipe (however, in a pinch you could substitute store-bought vanilla ice cream).
- Ice Cream Base, made with 1 teaspoon Fleur de Sel instead of ¾ teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 vanilla bean, split
- 2 slices of artisan bread (such as sourdough), crust trimmed and discarded
- Apple butter, to taste
- ½ cup shredded aged cheddar (such as Grafton Village Cheese Co. 4-Year Aged Cheddar)
- 2 tablespoons butter, melted
- Cinnamon, to taste
- Sugar, to taste
- Prepare Ice Cream Base, but after adding bloomed gelatin to the yolk mixture, scrape vanilla seeds out of vanilla bean and stir into the mixture as well. Add Fleur de Sel, and proceed with the rest of the Ice Cream Base recipe.
- After finished mixture has cooled to room temperature, place in refrigerator to chill, at least 8 hours. When ready, remove chilled ice cream mixture from refrigerator and pour into an ice cream maker. Spin according to manufacturer's instructions.
- Store in the freezer for at least 2 hours (and preferably overnight) before serving. Alternatively, you may use a home camping-style or foam cooler to freeze ice cream. Place ice cream inside, and top with a block of dry ice followed by a sheet of cardboard. The dry ice mimics the action of a hardening cabinet, an essential part of the ice cream manufacturing process. When the ice cream is rock-hard, transfer it to your home freezer. It will actually rise to proper serving temperature in the freezer.
- After the ice cream has frozen, prepare the sandwich. Spread one side of each slice of bread with apple butter. Top one slice with shredded aged cheddar and place the other slice on top, apple butter-side down.
- Brush the outside of each side of the sandwich with melted butter. Sprinkle each side with cinnamon and sugar, to taste.
- Place on pre-heated panini grill and cook until cheddar is melted and bread is golden brown. Remove, and place on a serving platter. Cut sandwich into quarters.
- Top a quarter with a scoop of ice cream, and then stack another quarter on top. Repeat, making a second stack with the other two quarters. Admire—and eat—your masterpiece before it melts.
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