OFF THE MENU
Cheer's The Village Pub
OFF THE MENU Story and photo by Jack Barten This month for Off the Menu, we turn our gaze to the heart of Fort William to visit Cheer's The Village Pub. Since it opened in 2007, Cheer’s has since become a neighbourhood favourite, establishing a comfortable atmosphere with friendly staff and homestyle pub food. Cheer’s is instantly inviting, and as you walk in you’re greeted by Norm, Woody, Sam, and the rest of the regulars—I’m joking of course, but the familiar and cosy environment is really emphasized by everything, including the menu. This brings us to the baked apple, the pub’s featured dessert for the month of March. “Everyone is doing savoury, so I thought I’d change it up by doing a dessert,” chef George Turner says on the subject of creating the baked apple for the Off the Menu feature. Gala apples are cored and then smothered in honey butter; the apple is then wrapped in puff pastry, along with oats and brown sugar. Next, the pastry is coated in a spiced rum and vanilla egg wash and dusted in maple syrup sugar before finally being baked. After baking, the pastry is finished with a crème fraîche maple drizzle. All the elements of this dish form what could be considered the perfect comfort desert. It is sweet but not too decadent, and also has a fresh fruit taste from the apple while being buttery from the puff pastry. “I try to keep everything simple and give everyone that comforting homestyle experience.” Turner says, after I mention the nostalgic and familiar flavours present in the baked apple. What more can a reviewer say than this is a simple, iconic, and home-y dish that everyone can enjoy and share. The baked apple is available for the month of March at Cheer’s.