Västerbottensost Cheese and a Swedish Midsummer Menu


Västerbottensost Cheese and a Swedish Midsummer Menu


Västerbottensost Cheese and a Swedish Midsummer Menu

Today, the 19th of June, is Swedish Midsummer……it marks the start of the summer holidays for most Swedes, as well as weekend of revelry, with Maypole dancing, singing, picking berries and flowers as well as enjoying food with family and friends, always outside, weather permitting.  By way of celebrating Swedish Midsummer with my readers, (I’ll be sharing a British Summer Solstice recipe over the weekend) I’d like to share a simple Swedish Midsummer Menu, as well as talk about “THAT” cheese, Västerbottensost.


Västerbottensost

At the beginning of May, I was invited to attend a Scandinavian Masterclass with several fellow bloggers; my partner in cooking crime for the day was Amanda from Glamorous Glutton, and I was also joined by Fiona from London Unattached, Claire from Lover of Creating Flavours and Manjiri from Travels for Food. Bronte Aurell from Scandi Kitchen was there to guide us through some of her family recipes that use the delectable cheese that is Västerbottensost.


Västerbottensost

Image: Västerbottensost.com

Västerbottensost is a robust cheese that tastes like a combination of Mature Cheddar and Parmesan; it’s loved by all Swedes, and after tasting a few cubes alongside a glass of wine, I could see why. It’s definitely a cheese with attitude, and yet it has a wonderful light texture, and is not dense at all. It has an interesting history, with the cheese first being made in the 19th century in Burträsk. Folk tales suggest that the cheese was a happy accident when a dairy maid called Ulrika Eleonora Lindström took her eye off the ball when the cheese was in the curdling vat.


At first the cheese was considered a failure, but when it was tried, the unique taste was discovered. The validity of that story aside, it was skilled dairy maid Ulrika Eleonora who took advantage of this new knowledge and handed it down to posterity with her famous and well-preserved recipe

Whatever the origins of the cheese, we all enjoyed cooking  with it at our Masterclass, as well as eating it later! Our menu for the day, which we all prepared and cooked, comprised:

Västerbottensost Paj (Västerbottensost Cheese Pie)

Swedish Meatballs with Västerbottensost Cheese Mashed Potatoes

Västerbottensost Crème

Raw Courgette Salad with Västerbottensost Cheese

This sensational Swedish meal was accompanied by Cloudberries, Lumpfish Roe, Sour Cream, chopped red Onions and assorted Swedish pickles and sauces.


Raw Courgette Salad with Västerbottensost Cheese

But on to my menu for today, which uses some of the Västerbottensost Cheese I was lucky enough to take away with me; I based my menu for Swedish Midsummer on recipes that are traditionally served over this mystical and magical time of the year……we have a Västerbottensost Pie (based on Bronte’s wonderful recipe) with slices of smoked salmon, a light and creamy potato salad with fresh dill, pickled cucumbers, sour cream, red onions and sweet honey mustard sauce. The menu is then rounded off with a stunning show stopper gateau, Swedish Midsummer Cake with Berries and Cream.


Västerbottensost Paj

The meal was light and packed with fresh herbal flavours, whilst the smoked saltiness of the salmon offset the richness of the Västerbottensost Paj (Västerbottensost Cheese Pie). I was particularly pleased with my recipe for the potato salad, Färskpotatissalad (Swedish Potato Salad); it was light and creamy without the cloying taste and texture of a 100% mayonnaise potato salad, with the dill adding a pleasant and yet subtle aniseed flavour. The meal was such a success, that all my diners requested I repeat the menu for English Midsummer’s Eve, which I will do.


Pie (6)

Two of the recipes for my Swedish Midsummer Menu are shared below, with my recipe for Swedish Midsummer Cake with Berries and Cream being found on the Great British Chef’s website, where I am a contributor. I hope my menu has inspired you enough to make it this Midsummer weekend – for more seasonal summer recipes, I have added a link to some of my favourites below, have a GREAT weekend, Karen 


Swedish Midsummer Cake with Berries and Cream

Västerbottensost Paj: Swedish Cheese Pie

Serves 12
Prep time 40 minutes
Cook time 40 minutes
Total time 1 hours, 20 minutes
Allergy

Egg, Milk, Wheat
Dietary

Vegetarian
Meal type

Lunch, Main Dish, Snack
Misc

Child Friendly, Freezable, Pre-preparable, Serve Cold
Occasion

Barbecue, Birthday Party, Casual Party, Formal Party
Region Swedish

By author

Bronte Aurell

This delicious Swedish cheese pie is served as part of the Midsummer Smorgasbord in Sweden, as well for Crayfish parties in August.

Ingredients

Pastry

  • 125g cold butter
  • 200g plain flour
  • pinch of sea salt
  • water

Pie

  • 300g Västerbottensost cheese (grated)
  • 3 large free range eggs
  • 100ml full fat milk
  • 250ml double cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon Cayenne pepper
  • salt and pepper to taste

Note

This delicious Swedish cheese pie is served as part of the Midsummer Smorgasbord in Sweden, as well for Crayfish parties in August. (This is my adapted recipe from Bronte Aurell and Scandi Kitchen)

Directions

Step 1 Preheat oven to 180C/250F/Gas mark 4. Line a loose bottom tart tin with baking paper. Place a baking sheet in the oven to heat up.
Step 2 To make the pastry, place the butter, flour and salt into a food processor and blitz until it resembles fine bread crumbs. Slowly add the water whilst running it on a low speed until the pasty forms a dough. Chill the pastry for 30 minutes before using.
Step 3 Roll the pastry out on a floured board and line the tart tin with it. Prick the base with a fork and line the pastry with baking paper – weigh it down by adding baking beans inside the lined pastry case and bake blind for 15 to 20 minutes – sitting the tin on the pre-heated baking sheet. Allow the beans to cool before removing.
Step 4 Meanwhile, make the pie filling by mixing the ingredients for the filing together, stirring in the grated Västerbottensost cheese last.
Step 5 Carefully pour the pie filling into the pastry case, place it back in the oven on the pre-heated baking sheet once again and bake for 20 to 25 minutes until the filling has puffed up and is cooked.
Step 6 Remove from the oven and leave to cool before serving in slices with crème fraîche, chopped red onion and red caviar or lumpfish roe. This pie is also served with a leafy salad and potato salad.
Step 7 A special sauce can be made called Romsås – mix a jar of red lumpfish roe with 3 tablespoons of crème fraîche.


Västerbottensost Paj.

Färskpotatissalad: Swedish Potato Salad

This simple Swedish style potato salad relies on new potatoes and fresh dill for its clean and fresh flavours.

Ingredients

  • 500g new potatoes, scrubbed but not peeled
  • 225ml crème fraîche (or sour cream)
  • 4 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • large bunch of fresh dill (finely chopped)

Note

This simple Swedish style potato salad relies on new potatoes and fresh dill for its clean and fresh flavours.

Directions

Step 1 Boil the new potatoes in salted water until just soft, drain them and when they are cool enough to handle, cut them into small chunks.
Step 2 Mix the crème fraîche with the mayonnaise and freshly chopped dill and fold the cooked potatoes into the mixture.
Step 3 Chill for at least one hour before serving as past of a smorgasbord or summer party buffet.


Färskpotatissalad (Swedish Potato Salad)

Lavender and Lovage Midsummer Recipes:

“Smorgastarta”

Swedish Sandwich Cake

Elderflower and Strawberry Cordial/Syrup

Making Elderflower and Strawberry Cordial

 Swedish Midsummer Cake with Berries and Cream


Midsummer Cake


Västerbottensost Paj


Västerbottensost Paj

As this pie contains FREE-RANGE eggs, I am entering it into Dom of Belleau Kitchen’s Simply EggCellent, with a theme of “Anything Goes” this month!


Simply Eggcellent #3 - savoury

(The dinnerware is Penzance from The Caravan Trail at Churchill China)


Churchill Blogger Lavender and Lovage

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