Today I have 4 fabulous French cheese recipes for you featuring yummy Le Rustique Brie de Caractère and Le Rustique Camembert (famously wrapped in its red and white Gingham cloth), all created by food blogger Lavender & Lovage.
Cheese and honey is a unique food pairing, so it is essential to create just the right balance between the two in order to avoid overwhelming our palates.
These recipes demonstrate the versatility of Le Rustique’s Camembert and Brie and would be ideal for sharing and taking on picnics. Of course, you can use the Camembert and Brie which best take your fancy but Le Rustique is a particular favourite of mine.
These scones are on the table in less than half an hour and are perfect when served with honey butter. Why not also serve as part of an afternoon tea or as an accompaniment to soups, stews or casseroles, or even as part of a “Ploughman’s Lunch”.
Makes: 10-12 medium scones / 18-20 mini scones
Prep time: 25 mins
Cooking time: 10-12 mins
5 tbsp runny honey (flower or lavender honey)
150g unsalted butter
450g self-raising flour
1 tsp baking powder
½ tsp sea salt
100g butter, cut into small pieces
100g Le Rustique Camembert, diced
1 small eating apple, peeled, cored and very finely diced or grated
300ml milk mixed with 1 large beaten egg
1. To make the honey butter: beat the honey and the butter with a hand-held electric whisk until light and fluffy. Set to one side until needed.
2. Pre-heat oven to 220C/450F/Gas mark 7 and line a baking sheet with baking paper.
3. Sift the flour, baking powder and salt together and then rub in the butter until it resembles bread crumbs.
4. Stir in the Le Rustique Camembert and apple and add just enough of the milk and egg mixture to make a soft dough, it should not be too sticky. Reserve the remaining milk and egg mixture for the glaze.
5. Gather into a ball and place in a floured work surface; roll out gently to a thickness of about 2cm and stamp out the scones with a 5cm scone cutter. Gather together all the offcuts and continue to stamp out scones until all the dough is used up.
6. Place the scones onto the prepared baking sheet and brush them with the egg and milk mixture before scattering some poppy seeds over the top.
7. Bake in the preheated oven for 10 to 12 minutes, or until they are well risen and golden brown.
8. Cool for a few minutes on a wire rack before serving warm with the honey butter.
You can use ready-made puff pastry for these delicious Camembert and Hazelnut Parcels which are perfect for an easy mid-week family supper, or for a lazy Saturday lunch. Shallots and hazelnuts are gently fried in a little olive oil for a tasty twist to compliment the Camembert; the fruit and honey chutney is the final “pièce de résistance” for these flaky cheese pies, which cuts through the richness of the filling.
Makes: 4 parcels for a main meal / 8 to 10 mini parcels
Prep time: 1 hour
Cooking time: 12-15 mins
Fruit and Honey Chutney:
500g apples and pears, cored and finely diced (no need to peel)
1 onion, peeled and finely diced
½ tsp mixed spice
¼ tsp salt
120ml runny honey (Acacia honey)
150ml cider apple vinegar
1 tbsp olive oil
40g hazelnuts, crushed
2 to 3 shallots, or half a red onion, peeled and finely diced
500g block ready-made puff pastry
1 x 250g Camembert, cut into 4 pieces
4 sprigs fresh rosemary
1 egg, beaten
1. To make the chutney: place all the ingredients into a large saucepan and simmer over a medium to low heat for about 30 to 45 minutes, until the fruit is cooked and there is no liquid left – stirring all the time. Set to one side to cool and thicken once cooked.
2. Heat the olive oil in a frying pan and add the crushed hazelnuts and the shallots/onion; fry them over medium heat until the shallots/onion are soft and the nuts are toasted. Set to one side.
3. Pre-heat oven to 220C/450F/Gas mark 7 and line a baking sheet with baking paper.
4. Cut the pastry block into 4 and place them on a floured work surface, roll each piece out into a square, about 15cm x 15cm. Divide the hazelnut and shallots/onion mixture between the 4 pastry squares.
5. Cut the Camembert into thick slices and place on top of the mixture and then bring the corners up to the middle of the parcel, securing the pastry in the middle with the fresh rosemary sprigs. Place the parcels on the prepared baking sheet.
6. Brush the beaten egg over the tops of the parcels and bake for 12 to 15 minutes, until the pastry has risen and the parcels are golden brown.
7. Serve immediately with the fruit and honey chutney, and salad for a light luncheon or supper dish.
These delicious “Scotch Eggs” hide a cheesy secret inside! Two delicious flavours, herby pork sausage meat and black pudding, each wrapped around a cube of Camembert which after being deep-fried ooze seductively. Dunk these into a tangy, sweet honey and mustard dip for a truly cheesy treat.
Prep time: 20 mins
Cooking time: 20 mins
x6 (400g) high meat content herb pork sausages, skinned
x6 (400g) black puddings, skinned
250g box Camembert, cut into 12 cubes
2 eggs, beaten
50g to 75g fine bread crumbs
Vegetable oil for frying
125ml runny honey (Flower honey)
2 tbsp Dijon mustard
1 tbsp olive oil
1. Take each sausage or black pudding and flatten them out into a large thin round; place the Camembert cube into the middle and bring the sides up to completely cover the cheese, making sure there are no gaps or holes in the sausage or black pudding. Gently shape them into an egg shape in the palm of your hand.
2. Dip the “Scotch Egg” into the beaten egg and then cover it with the bread crumbs; set to one side on a plate whilst you make the rest.
3. Fill a wok or a deep-frying pan to about 10cms in depth with vegetable oil and then heat it until smoking hot; add 3 to 4 “Scotch Eggs”, do not overcrowd the pan, and cook over medium heat for about 4 minutes, turning them over halfway through cooking. If they start to brown too quickly, turn the heat down slightly.
4. Once they are cooked, drain them and keep them warm whilst you cook the remaining ones.
5. To make the dip: whisk the honey, mustard and olive oil together to form an emulsified dip.
6. Serve immediately with the honey and mustard dip.
These gorgeous little Brie tartlets use rounds of bread in place of pastry and are so easy to make. Tangy honey onion relish adds a lovely depth to the crisp cases and melted cheese before they are dressed to serve with chopped chives for the final flourish. The honey onion relish can be made ahead of time and keeps in the fridge for up to two weeks.
Makes: 12 small tartlets/ 4 large tarts
Prep time: 45 mins
Cooking time: 8-10 mins
Honey Onion Relish:
2 red onions, peeled and diced
2 tbsp runny honey (Acacia honey)
1 tbsp red wine vinegar
12 x slices Brown bread
50g softened butter
100-120g Brie cut into 12 pieces
Chopped fresh chives
1. To make the honey-onion relish: melt the butter in a pan and add the onions; sauté the onions for 4 to 5 minutes and then add the remaining ingredients. Simmer, stirring all the time to stop it sticking, for 20 to 30 minutes until it is thick. Cool and set to one side until needed.
2. Pre-heat oven to 200C/400F/Gas mark 6.
3. Using a 5cm to a 6cm cutter, stamp out 12 circles from the sliced bread, and butter them on one side only. Place the buttered sides down into a 12-hole bun-tin, pressing them to create a tartlet shape.
4. Add a teaspoon of honey onion relish into each bread tartlet base, and then place the pieces of Brie on top.
5. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes until the cheese has melted and the bottom of the bread tartlet bases are crispy and golden brown.
6. Gently ease them out of the tray and sprinkle chopped fresh chives over them before serving.
All easy and delicious. Which one of these French cheese recipes will you try first?