Several months ago, we were planning a baking class for a grandfather, his daughter and his grandchildren. He had grown up in Belgium, and had very fond but vague memories of a cheese pastry from a Boulangère he used to eat as a child. He described what he could remember to us, hoping we could replicate it and teach the recipe to him and his family. After several (deliciously cheesy) attempts, we came up with this, which was the tastiest of all and pretty close to what he had described.
We made these pastries in the class, and they were a hit with everyone. Nostalgic, delicious and comforting – a very satisfying day’s baking with three generations of a lovely family.
350 ml milk
Comte – large handful grated
Gruyère – large handful grated
Preheat the oven-to 180c.
Melt the butter over a low heat. Beat in the flour and cook for 2 minutes.
Add the milk gradually, off the heat, whisking constantly. Return to heat, still whisking, and cook until it becomes very thick.
Take off the heat and let cool for a few minutes.
Separate the eggs. Grate the cheese. Stir the egg yolks and the cheese into the sauce. And season with salt and pepper.
Roll the pastry out into rectangles.
Whisk the egg whites until they’ve reached the soft peak stage and fold into the cheese sauce.
Spoon a line of filling across the pastry and fold the edge over gently, taking care not to squash the sauce out of the ends.
Pinch the ends shut and brush with beaten egg and bake until risen and golden.