For grilled cheese lovers, this sandwich takes your craving to a whole new level! So, say “cheese, please!” the ultimate way! This grilled cheese sandwich version is loaded with all the things that go best with cheddar like apples and bacon. A good grilled cheese sandwich never goes out of style. Kids love them, adults love them, and they’ve proven to be one of the most popular food truck favorites across the country. But we must tackle a controversy while building this big boy. That is, do you spread butter or mayonnaise on the outside of the bread? I say butter on the inside and mayo on the outside! I’ve actually switched my loyalty from butter to mayo for the outside of the sandwich because mayonnaise produces the most beautiful evenly cooked crust! For this ultimate grilled cheese, I’ve used aged cheddar and gruyere. Use any cheese combination you like. I’ve also brushed maple syrup over the bacon during the cooking process. The sweet and salty add so much to the cheese sandwich! Finally, grilled apple slices bring all the flavors home. The combination of all of these ingredients really makes this sandwich memorable. So now you have the grown up version and a real tasty Ultimate Grilled Cheese Sandwich.
Watch my How To Video for Ultimate Grilled Cheese here!
- 12 slices thick-cut bacon
- 1/2 cup maple syrup
- 4 crisp apples, cut in ¼ inch slices (I used Honey Crisp)
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter (1 stick) softened plus 2 tablespoons
- 1 cup mayonnaise (I used Best Foods)
- 12 slices white bread
- 8 ounces Gruyere or cheese of your choice
- 8 ounces extra-sharp cheddar, shredded
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Arrange the bacon on a baking rack set over a sheet pan lined with aluminum foil. Cook bacon half way. Then brush maple syrup on both sides of bacon and cook until crispy and caramelized, continuing to brush with maple syrup periodically. Set aside. Heat a cast iron or heavy skillet with 1 tablespoon of butter. Over medium high heat, cook sliced apples until softened and slightly grilled on each side. Set aside. Lay 12 slices of bread on a board and spread each one with mayonnaise. Flip the slices and spread each one with butter. Sprinkle equal amounts of shredded cheddar to all 12 slices (buttered side). Add a layer of apple slices, 2 pieces of bacon and Gruyere cheese to 6 of the slices of bread. Close sandwich, making sure mayonnaise is on the outside. Press down gently. Heat a cast iron or heavy skillet (or Panini press).To the skillet add remaining 1 tablespoon of butter. Grill sandwiches on both sides until rich golden brown. Allow to cool for about a minute before slicing in half. Serve with chips or tomato soup (and a dill pickle!)