Instead of reaching for the bubbly or rosé this Thanksgiving, cidermaker Diane Flynt of Foggy Ridge Cider recommends enjoying your turkey dinner with a glass of Final Call, a dry sparkling cider made with a variety of Virginia’s finest apples.
After two decades of producing nationally recognized ciders crafted from over 30 homegrown cider apples, Foggy Ridge is retiring their cider production and delving full-time into apple harvesting. The Dugspur-based cidery and orchard released Final Call, their last and final cider label, in celebration of their newest pursuit.
Flynt describes Final Call as a juicy and tart cider that pairs perfectly with savory Thanksgiving dishes. The dry sparkling cider is blended with some of the most valuable cider apples including Hewe’s Crabs, Parmar, Newtown Pippin and Harrison.
Flynt also shared her Winter Squash Gratin recipe, a beloved family dish that not only complements the acidity of Final Call, but makes an excellent vegetable addition to your Thanksgiving spread.
Winter Squash Gratin
Recipe adapted from Diane Flynt’s Winter Squash Gratin
2 lbs. Winter squash (Butternut, Kuri or Kabocha)
1 medium onion, thinly sliced
1 Tbl. butter
1 tsp. fresh thyme, finely chopped
1 cup Swiss Gruyere cheese, grated
1 cup heavy cream or half-and-half
Pepper and salt to taste
Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
Cut squash in half, or quarters for larger squash, and scoop out seeds. Place flesh side down in a baking dish.
Pour up to 1/4-inch of hot water into the baking dish and cover with foil. Bake for 1 hour, or until squash is soft.
While the squash is baking, cook onion in a skillet until onion turns translucent.
Remove squash from oven and let cool slightly, then scoop out pulp. Cut pulp into cubes, about 3/4-inch on each side.
Spread half the onion in a gratin dish, then layer with half of the cubed squash. Sprinkle with salt, 1/2 tsp. thyme, 1/2 cup of cheese and the remaining squash. Top with the remaining onion, cheese and thyme.
Pour heavy cream over the entire dish and bake until a golden crust forms, about 35 minutes. Tilt to make sure all the cream has been absorbed. Season with salt and pepper and serve.
Visit Foggy Ridge Cider’s Blog for more great recipes.