Stage 11 sees the Tour travel deep through the heart of the Jura from Besançon to Oyonnax – home of beautiful lakes brimming with fresh water pike and crayfish and the Jura plateau where you will find the Montbeliarde and Tachete de L’est cows from which local cheesemakers have been making the ancient Comté cheese since the time of Charlemagne.
Cheesemakers of the Jura need 530 litres of milk to make just one wheel of Comte cheese weighing about 35kgs – that is the whole days milking from 30 cows. It is a labour of love and tradition that yields a product that is loved around the word. Comté cheese was recognised by an Appellation d’origine controlee in 1958, making it one of the earliest cheese to receive the honour.
This recipe is a simple and tasty way to enjoy the nutty, smooth flavour of Comté and comes courtesy of http://www.s-commesoeurs.com.
- 4 sheets frozen puff pastry
- 60g butter
- 60g flour
- 500mls milk
- 100g Comté cheese (with rind removed) and grated
- 10 thin slices of smoked ham
- Salt and Pepper
How to do it
The first step is to make a roux. In a saucepan, melt together the butter and flour and cook off for a few moments without letting it brown.
Take the roux off the heat and stir in the milk a little at a time, whisking thoroughly between each addition until thickened. Add the nutmeg and season with salt and pepper before adding the grated Comté cheese and stirring until melted and combined.
Line a baking tray with baking paper and two sheets of the puff pastry, slightly overlapped to fit if needed. Cover the pastry with a layer of bechamel sauce and layer with ham. Continue to layer bechamel and ham until all used. Then top with another layer of puff pastry. Make an egg wash with an egg whisked with a little water. Use this to glue, stick and pinch together the edges of the pastry and then brush the top of the pastry with egg wash to glaze.
Bake in the oven at 180 degrees celsius for 30 minutes or until golden brown and puffed. When cooked, remove from the tray to cool slightly before slicing into squares. Serve with a crisp salad and white wine.