When the produce bins brim with Fall bounty, I love to swap out the tomatoes on my sammies for sliced apple. Together with melted cheese, the slightly sweet, slightly tart fruit makes for a hearty autumnal meal.

Though apple and cheddar is always a safe bet, last night I whipped up a grilled ham and cheese with one of my favorite indulgences: smoked gouda. With the condiments, I created two versions: one with just sweet mustard and another with mustard and Branston Pickle relish. I actually preferred the robust, saltier sandwich with the Branston, but if you don't like (or can't find) this popular British spread, sweet mustard will do just fine. For vegetarians, just subtract the ham. To get the recipe and see how I made it, read more.

Fall Gouda-ness Grilled Cheese

Fall Gouda-ness Grilled Cheese

Fall Gouda-ness Grilled Cheese

Ingredients

4 slices wheat or multigrain bread
2 tablespoons sweet mustard
2 tablespoons Branston Pickle relish
4 slices of deli ham
1/2 Fuji apple, cut into thin slices
8 slices of smoked gouda cheese (about 2 ounces)

Directions

  1. Preheat panini press. Alternately, if you don't own a panini maker, preheat the oven to 350°F. Place a cast-iron skillet inside the oven to warm for 5-10 minutes.
  2. Spread two slices of bread with pickle relish and the other two slices with mustard.
  3. On each pickle relish-coated slice, place two slices of ham, half the apple slices, and four slices of gouda. Cover with the mustard-coated slice.
  4. Cook the sandwiches in a panini press for 5-10 minutes, until cheese is melted and bread is lightly browned. Or, coat a skillet with cooking oil and cook the sandwiches over medium-low heat for 5 minutes per side, until cheese is melted and bread is lightly browned, using the hot cast-iron skillet to press the sandwiches.