This dish is great for a main dish or a side (or both, if have leftovers!). Make sure to use tart, flavorful apples, or it will come out rather bland.
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1 cup milk
½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
½ teaspoon salt
pinch of ground cloves
4 cups peeled, cored, and sliced apples
1 cup chopped onion
2 cups grated cheddar or gruyere (or 1 cup each)
1 cup chopped walnuts or pecans
1 cup bread crumbs
2 tablespoons brown sugar (optional)
Preheat the oven to 350º. Lightly oil an 11x7" baking dish.
In a small pot, melt the butter over medium heat and whisk in the flour. Slowly add the milk to the flour, then add the salt and spices. Whisk continuously until the sauce starts to thicken. Stir for about 4 minutes, until thick. Remove from the heat.
To assemble, spread the apples and onion evenly in the prepared dish. Sprinkle on the grated cheese, and pour the sauce over the top. Scatter on the nuts, bread crumbs, and brown sugar, if using.
Bake uncovered for 45 minutes, until the top is golden and crisp.