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Recipes: Västerbotten cheese – three different ways

Posted by Bronte Aurell | Food & Recipes, Recipes

It’s our favourite Swedish cheese. In Sweden, it’s known as the King of Cheese – and there is a reason for this: It’s utterly delicious.

Initially created in 1872 by a loving mistake, when dairy maid Ulrika Eleonora Lindström was wooed by the milk man and left the cheese at the Burträsk Dairy go spoilt while she went out for cuddles. They shelved the spilt cheese anyway – and tasted it over a year later, realising the mistake had resulted in an amazing cheese discovery. The dairy have since tried to make Västerbotten in other locations, but have failed: no matter what they try to do, it never tasted the same as when it’s made in the town of Burträsk.

We’ve been stocking Västerbotten cheese since the day we opened, before it was more widely available in the UK. We like to think of ourselves as small time Västerbotten pioneers, really!

Perhaps this is why the makers asked us to give some classes on how to use Västerbotten in your every day cooking. We went along last Monday and met some great bloggers and food writers at a cooking school in London – and went through some super simple ways how to use this amazing cheese.

Here are some of the recipes. We highly recommend you make the spread (‘Västerbotten crème’) – it may seem the most simple of the lot, but it’s worth it. Go on, you’ll know why, once you’ve tasted it.

Easy Västerbotten Cheese Quiche (Västerbotten Paj)

A great side dish for a crayfish party – this traditional cheese tart is really lovely served with caviar dressing.
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: Swedish
Author: Bronte Aurell

Ingredients

Pastry

  • 125 g cold butter
  • 200 g plain flour
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 egg
  • water, if needed add few drops if dough not coming together

Filling:

  • 250 g Västerbotten cheese
  • 3 eggs
  • 100 ml whole milk
  • 250 ml double cream
  • ½ tsp paprika
  • salt
  • pepper
  • 25-28 cm Tart tin with loose base

Romsås Caivar Sauce:

Instructions

  • Blitz your pastry ingredients in a food processor (egg and water at the end only) to form a dough, then leave to chill for about 30 minutes in the fridge.
  • Heat the oven to 180°C.
  • Roll out the chilled dough and line the pastry tin. Prick the base with a fork and blind bake using baking beans for 10-12 minutes. Remove the beans and bake for a further 5-6 minutes.
  • For the filling, mix together everything except the Västerbotten cheese.
  • Scatter the cheese on the base of the pastry, evenly all over – then pour over the egg mixture.
  • Return it to the oven for about 15-20 minutes. It’ll puff up quite a bit towards the end, but will turn golden on top. It’s done when it is ‘set’ so do keep an eye on it.
  • Leave it to cool before slicing. Serve cold or lukewarm.
    Västerbottenpaj goes well with romsås, a caviar sauce. Alternatively, if you can get real bleak roe (Löjrom), serve the tart with a spoonful of this, some crème fraîche and finely chopped red onion.

Romsås Caivar Sauce:

  • In a bowl, mix together 3 large tbsp. crème fraiche and one jar of red lumpfish roe (80g). Leave to set in the fridge, then stir again just before serving.

Vasterbotten Crème

They say some of the best things are the really simple things. This recipe is not really a recipe, more a cream cheese with flavour. I save all the crumbs off my Västerbotten make a delicious spread for crispbread.
Actually, that’s a bit of a lie… I grate it because there’s never enough crumbs for my consumption levels of this spread: It’s lovely.
Västerbotten pairs really well with a tart jam – such as cloudberry or lingonberry. The quantities below are just guidelines: For a spread at home, I prefer a strong, thicker mixture, but I sometimes add more crème fraiche if I want to use it as a dip. If I want to pipe out the mixture to use on canapés, add more of the cream cheese.
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: Swedish

Ingredients

Instructions

  • Mix the cheese and crème fraiche and cream cheese together. Season. You won’t need salt as the Vasterbotten is salty enough.
  • When smooth, use as desired - try to spread it onto crispbread. Top with jam and chives, if using.

Raw courgette salad with Västerbotten

Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: Swedish
Servings: 2

Ingredients

  • 2 courgettes
  • 1 bunch of rocket (or leaves of choice – although stronger flavours work well)
  • 50 g Västerbotten cheese
  • 50 g almonds

Simple dressing

  • 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • ½ tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • salt
  • pepper

Instructions

  • Toast the almonds lightly. Shave the courgettes into thin strips length ways – this is best done using a mandolin (the slicer, not the musical instrument) or even a flat metal cheese slicer. The strips need to be quite thin.
  • Add the courgette to a big bowl, add the salad leaves and mix gently. Add the cheese and fold again.
  • Make the dressing by combining the vinegars and oil in a bowl, whisk well, season with salt and pepper. Dress the salad (you may have too much dressing for your taste – this salad doesn’t really need much, so you can reserve the rest for next time).
  • Arrange on a serving plate, scatter with toasted almonds and serve immediately.
    Norrmejerier Vasterbottensost – Gourmet Piece 165g
    Rated 5.00 out of 5
    £4.99
    Norrmejerier Västerbottensost – Mature Cheese 33% 450g
    £9.99

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