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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Lunchbox Extravaganza Pt. 2 – Mini Quiche

Today the Meatball and Salted Cod bring you bacon mini quiches and another episode of our Lunchbox Extravaganza! This looks a lot more complicated than it is, but is actually quite easy and is so worth it. You can have it as a normal quiche or as mini quiches to take for lunch.

Start by making the dough, Gordon Ramsay style. It’s really easy and only takes a few minutes actually working on it (although be prepared for a lot of rolling), the rest is resting time.

Yep the dough does stretch that long...

While your dough is rising in the fridge prepare the filling. We used fried bacon, mushrooms, cheddar and thyme but you can make any combination – salmon and ricotta is really good, as well as mediterranean grilled vegetables. You then combine these ingredients with a milk and egg mixture. You can also use cream instead of milk (or half and half) but after the crazy amount of butter going into that pastry we decided to save our growing stomachs from any more grease. We didn’t really use any measurements, but you should use a minimum of two eggs and make sure the mixture is not too liquid, otherwise it won’t settle properly.

All the butter that went into the pastry...

Cut the pastry in the shape of the tin you are using (we cut in in small circles for our mini quiches) and fill them up. Put them in a preheated oven at 180 for 15mins, but keep checking to make sure the pastry is not burning.

These quiches are great served hot or cold, so you can make a big batch and eat them throughout the week. They can also be frozen and reheated later.