Bernice's Special Apple Mac and Cheese


Bernice's Special Apple Mac and Cheese

  • 1 Pound Box of Medium Shell Pasta
  • 1 Pound Italian Sweet Sausage
  • 4 Tbsp Butter
  • 2 Large Onions Peeled and cut into chunks
  • 2 Granny Smith Apples Peeled and cubed
  • Sprinkle of Salt and Sugar
  • 4 Tbsp Flour
  • 1 Tbsp Chicken Base
  • 4 Cups Milk
  • 1 Tsp Onion Powder
  • 1/2 Tsp Smoked Paprika
  • 1/2 Tsp Garlic Powder
  • 1 Tsp Mustard Powder
  • 1/2 Pound Gouda Cheese
  • 1/2 Pound Mild Cheddar Cheese
  • 1 Pound American Cheese Divided
  • Splash of Brandy
  • 2-4 Tbsp Butter Cut into small pieces


1. Cook one pound box of medium size shell macaroni until al dente, drain, reserving a cup or two of the pasta water. 

2. Crumble the Italian sweet sausage in a frying pan, cook until nicely browned, drain on paper towels (if using link sausage remove casing before browning).  Discard sausage fat, wipe pan clean. 

3. Melt butter in frying pan, add chopped onions. Sprinkle with small amount of salt and sugar. (This helps with caramelization). Cook until onions are starting to caramelize, add apple cubes.  Cook until onions are fully caramelized.  Remove from heat. 

4. In a Dutch oven, melt butter, add flour and cook until rue is slightly browned.  Add a heaping tablespoon of chicken base and 4 cups of milk while whisking continuously.  Add spices and continue stirring until mixture starts to thicken.  Add the cheeses and continue to stir until cheeses are melted and sauce thickens.  If sauce becomes too thick, thin with the reserved pasta water.  Put a splash of Brandy in the sauce and mix well.  You can put any amount of Brandy  you wish but you want it as a background ingredient,  so a few Tablespoons, no more than 1/4 cup at most.  The alcohol will evaporate while cooking.  Remove from heat and put aside 2 cups of cheese mixture. 

5. Pour the drained pasta, onions, apples, and sausage into the Dutch oven that has the cheese sauce and mix well. 

6. Prepare a baking dish with butter or cooking spray.  Pour half the mixture into baking dish. Put half the reserved American cheese and 1 cup of the reserved cheese sauce on the mixture.  Add remaining pasta mixture to dish.  Add the remaining reserved American cheese and cheese sauce to top of dish.  Sprinkle with butter pieces.   

7. Bake in 350 degree oven for 45 minutes to one hour until top is starting to brown. Remove from oven and let sit for 5 minutes before serving.