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Mad Men Era Cuisine Circa 1963 -- Swiss Cheese Fondue and Concord Grape Pie

George Hamilton and Susan Strasberg enjoy Swiss Cheese Fondue
George Hamilton and Susan Strasberg enjoy Swiss Cheese Fondue
McCall's magazine, May 1963

The retro design of vintage fondue sets are a perfect centerpiece to a Mad Men era get-together. Here follows the Cheese Fondue recipe offered by George Hamilton in a McCall's magazine Celebrity Recipes feature from 1963.  This Swiss Cheese Fondue recipe is very rich, complemented by the white wine you choose to use in the recipe.

  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 pound natural Swiss cheese, grated
  • dash salt
  • dash pepper
  • 1.5 to 2 cups of dry white wine
  • 4 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 2 tablespoons kirsch
  • 1 loaf french bread
  1. For making fondue, use a rather deep baking dish with a glazed interior, flameproof glass saucepan, or crockery utensil--never a metal pan.
  2. Rub side and bottom of baking dish with garlic. Put cheese, salt, and pepper into dish; add enough wine almost to cover.
  3. Cook, over medium heat and stirring constantly, just until cheese melts--no longer. Cheese and wine will not be blended yet.
  4. Now make a smooth paste of cornstarch, kirsch, and about 2 tablespoons of water. Using wire whisk, stir cornstarch mixture into melted cheese and wine.
  5. Cook, over medium heat and stirring, 2 to 3 minutes, or until fondue is as creamy and thick as medium white sauce.
  6. Cut bread into 1-inch cubes
  7. To serve: set fondue over a chafing-dish flame or candle warmer. Each bread cube should be speared with a fork and dipped into warm fondue.

Makes about 3 cups.

Follow up with Carol Lynley's Fresh-Concord-Grape-Pie

  • Pastry for 2 crust pie
  • 5 cups fresh Concord grapes
  • 1 Cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon peel
  • 1 tablespoon grated orange peel
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  1. Preheat oven top 425 F.
  2. Wash grapes, drain. Remove skin from each grape by pressing between thumb and forefinger until skin breaks and pulp pops out; set the skins aside.
  3. In medium saucepan, over medium heat, bring the pulp to boiling, stirring; boil 2 minutes. Press pulp through sieve, to remove seeds. In large bowl, combine the sieved pulp with skins, mixing well.
  4. In a small bowl, combine flour, sugar and salt. Add the grape mixture, along with lemon and orange peel. Turn into pastry lined pie plate. Dot with butter.
  5. Roll out remaining pastry into an 11-inch circle. Make several slits near center, for steam vents; adjust top crust over the filling; trim overhang a little.
  6. Fold edge of top crust under bottom crust; press together with fingertips to make a seal. Crimp edge decoratively.
  7. Bake 40 to 45 minutes, or until crust is golden. Cool partially on wire rack; serve pie warm. Makes 6 to 8 servings

Related Articles:

Dressing Like the Women of Mad Men Circa 1963

Planning a "Mad Men" Cocktail Party Circa 1963

Interview with Mad Men Costume Designer Janie Bryant