Fennel Caramelised in Cider

11:30 am on 9 June 2014

Recipe by Delia Smith
Serves 4-6


  • 4 medium-sized bulbs of fennel
  • 25g butter
  • 1 tsp granulated sugar
  • 300ml off-dry cider
  • 50ml cider vinegar
  • salt


Cut off the leafy fronds, reserving them for later, and slice the fennel bulbs in half.

Boil or steam the bulbs for 10 minutes in a large saucepan. Remove the fennel, throw out the water, wipe clean the pan and return it to the heat.

Melt the butter and sugar in the pan, stirring until the sugar dissolves.

Add the fennel, cut side down. Brown for 5 minutes, then turn the pieces over and brown on the other side for a further 3 minutes.

Combine the cider, cider vinegar and a little salt, and pour this into the pan. Cover with a lid and simmer gently for 20 minutes. 

Turn the fennel over again, and cook for a further 20 minutes with the pan uncovered. Watch carefully during the last 10 minutes and test whether cooked by inserting a skewer.

When the fennel is tender, raise the heat and reduce the remaining juices to a glaze.

Shake the pan carefully to give an even covering of the caramel glaze.

Transfer the whole lot to a warm serving dish with the cut surfaces upwards and garnish with chopped fennel fronds.

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