Västerbottenpaj (Swedish cheese quiche)

Västerbottenpaj

Unfortunately, Sweden isn’t really a cheese country. Moving to the UK altered my relationship with Swedish cheese for good, as I realised that even the English do it much, much better than us. Rather predictably, this alienation has only increased since I moved to cheese-loving Belgium. However, there is one exception to the Swedish cheese rule: Västerbottensost. It’s about the only internationally famous Swedish cheese aside from mesost (a sweet, caramel-tasting soft cheese from the north. I refrain from comment). Västerbottensost is skinny for a cheese, and quite salty. Friends who ate it this weekend likened it to parmesan, but nuttier. And it melts and browns beautifully in a very rich quiche (Västerbottenpaj). I was lucky to have two Swedish friends visiting this weekend to help out making one.

quiche base

You need:

  • 300 grams Västerbottensost (one piece is normally about 400 g). It’s an expensive cheese, as supply is limited. Needless to say, they don’t stock it in IKEA, but you should be able to find it in any Nordic food shop.
  • 100 grams butter
  • Slightly less than 2 dl flour
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 dl cream
  • salt an pepper to taste

Start by chopping the butter, mixing it in with the flour. Once a dough is formed, add two tablespoons of cold water and form to a ball. Put the ball in the middle of round cake-tin, and push it out towards the corners until it covers the entire tin. Prick it all over with a fork, and pre-cook it in the oven for 10 minutes at 200 degrees.

Swedish girls and cheese!

Patricia and Sandy cooking Västerbottenpaj.

Grate all the cheese and mix it with the eggs, cream and salt, together with some black pepper. Once the quiche base has been in the over for 10 minutes, take it out, and carefully pour the cheese mix into it. Put it back into the oven for another 30 minutes (keep a close eye on the it, but don’t panic it if the cheese goes a bit brown: it’s meant to look rather dark when it’s done). Let cool for a while before you serve it, because it’s best served lukewarm (or lagom warm for this sort of quiche – lukewarm sounds a bit meh). It’s very rich, so it is best accompanied by some other dishes too.  Enjoy!

Västerbottenpaj

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One Comment on “Västerbottenpaj (Swedish cheese quiche)”

  1. Marie Mardal says:

    Hej

    I currently live in Germany, where I – of course – can’t buy Västerbotten:( I wanted to make a Kräftskiva (out of season, I know) for my German room mate.
    So I tried making the paj with a mixture of Grana Pandano and Manchego. It did not turn out that well; it lacked the characteristic, aromatic, nutty taste of Västerbotten.
    I also bought living Kräftor (Cray Fish) from Iran, god knows how long they’ve been underway. If any animal rights activists read this, I can report, that we played Iranian music for tim to ease their suffering. But they did not taste good, partly because Krondill is impossible to find in Germany, this time of the year.
    The ‘helen går’ and aquavit, however, worked out just fine.

    The lesson to be learned here is, don’t make a Kräftskive when not in Sweden (unless you have Swedes coming over bringing the ingredients)

    Finally: you have a lovely blog here, and the Västebottenpaj looks delicious.


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