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This French classic is traditionally made with béchamel sauce; our method is simpler and uses crème fraîche. Top it with a fried egg and you have a croque-madame.

You'll need

200 gm coarsely grated Gruyère 200 gm crème fraîche 3 tsp Dijon mustard 8 thick sourdough bread slices 8 thick slices of leg ham, off the bone 40 gm butter, coarsely chopped


  • 01
  • Preheat oven to 180C. Combine Gruyère, crème fraîche and mustard in a bowl, season to taste, mix well. Spread thickly over bread slices, then top half the bread slices with ham. Top with remaining bread slices, cheese-side up, and set aside.
  • 02
  • Melt half the butter in a frying pan over medium heat until foaming, add half the sandwiches, cheese-side up, cook until base is golden (1-2 minutes), transfer to a baking-paper-lined oven tray. Wipe out pan with absorbent paper, repeat with remaining butter and sandwiches. Bake until bubbling and golden (5-10 minutes), serve immediately.

At A Glance

  • Serves 4 people
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At A Glance

  • Serves 4 people

Drink Suggestion

Rustic red, such as Minervois.

Featured in

Jul 2009

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