What to do with Leftover Cheese: Three Cheese Tarte Flambée Recipe
Too much cheese! This is what we call a “good problem.” As I’ve switched some of my time to hosting virtual cheese workshops, it’s a problem I’ve encountered often – little nubbins of leftover cheese sitting in my fridge as I still keep buying new, larger pieces that will allow me to more easily demonstrate my points via video feed. And, amazing as it may seem for me, there’s only so many cheese dinners you can have before you start to crave a change. So I was thrilled when my dear from Cat, of Cat’s Toulouse Kitchen, volunteered some leftover cheese recipes that help use what you’ve got on hand and will leave you looking for excuses to buy more…
Cat says, of those leftover cheese nubbins: “Don’t you dare throw them away. Often the part next to the rind the most flavourful piece and there are plenty of recipes that benefit from the added umami flavour gained from decent cheese. For starters, you can make an Instagram-worthy grilled cheese sandwich out of any grated cheese. Toss it through some bechamel sauce and you’ve got the makings of a super-indulgent cauliflower cheese or a turbo-charged mac and cheese. And this is just the beginning of the cheesey stratosphere. Taking Taste of Toulouse’s ‘How to build a cheese plate” workshop has sent me into a cheese-frenzy and I’ve been rustling up some delightful dairy recipes in my kitchen that I’d love to share with you.”
What to do with Leftover Cheese: Three Cheese Tarte Flambée RecipeCourse: Main, AppetizersCuisine: FrenchDifficulty: Easy
Tarte flambée, also known as flammenkuchen, translates as ‘flame cooked tart’. Traditionally bakers would use this thin tart to test the temperature of their wood ovens. If the flammenkuchen was ready in just a couple of minutes, the ovens were ready to bake their daily bread. Essentially, this is a French version of pizza but it tends to be thinner and crispier than its Italian cousin and doesn’t include tomato sauce. Today you can eat flammenkuchen in restaurants and cafés across Alsace with toppings as numerous as any pizza restaurant. Classically this crispy treat is topped with crème fraiche, bacon, onions and cheese. For this recipe I’ve used three different kinds of cheese to create a delicious flavour that will have your family fighting over the last slice!
Makes 2 tarts. Serve as a main dish with a crisp green salad and a glass of white wine or as an appetizer for a larger group.
250g / 2 cups plain flour
½ tsp salt
150ml / ⅔ cup hand hot water
2 tbsp sunflower oil
200g / 7 oz crème fraiche*
A grating of nutmeg
250g / 8 oz of a mix of different leftover cheese, for example Comté, Roquefort and goats cheese
A small handful of chopped parsley
- Preheat your oven to 240 degrees C (220 fan) / 450 degrees F. Place two baking sheets in the oven to preheat.
- Sift the flour into a large bowl and then make a well in the centre and add the other ingredients for the dough.
- Mix briskly with a wooden spoon until combined and then bring together as a dough with your hands.
- Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 5 minutes.
- Pop your dough into a lightly oiled bowl and cover with a tea towel as you grate the cheese and get your other toppings out of the fridge.
- Split the dough in two and roll out each dough into a large rectangle to roughly fit your baking sheets.
- Transfer this dough to a sheet of baking/parchment paper and spread the half the crème fraiche over the tart base leaving a 1cm / ½ inch border.
- Sprinkle the cheese over the top and finish with salt, pepper and a grating of nutmeg.
- Repeat with the second tart.
- Take out your preheated baking sheets and lift the baking paper and tarts carefully onto the trays.
- Place in the hot oven for 10 -13 minutes until the cheese is bubbling and the base is crisp and browned at the edges. In some ovens you may need to swap the trays halfway through to ensure even cooking.
- Garnish with a sprinkle of chopped parsley.
- *Editor’s note: If crème fraîche is hard to find, sour cream can be used as a substitute.
If you enjoyed this recipe, head over to Cat’s Toulouse Kitchen for more delicious recipes and ideas on what to do with leftover cheese, like this Blue Cheese Sablée with Romesco Sauce.