The Sauce: Bleu Cheese Mascarpone Sauce – Combined with dried fruit and nuts with a little honey for sweetness, it’s thick, creamy and crunchy. Once chilled, it sets into a perfect round. Allow to stand for 30 minutes for spreadable texture.
‘Great Sauces Transform Good Food into Gourmet’
Gourmet Dave does bleu proud
My friend Dave is a gourmet cook and often sends me his recipes. Here’s one he shared with me that’s fantastic for holiday entertaining. Let’s start with the bottom line, I’m a ‘dyed in the wool’ bleu cheese lover. Bleu is sharp and salty so I wondered how it would pair with the sweetness of fruit and honey. This marriage of contrasting flavors plus sundry textures, creamy cheeses, crunchy nuts and chewy dried fruit grace a crispy cracker with style.
An acquired taste, nibble and dabble at bleu until you find yourself ‘falling off the cliff’ hopelessly in love with it. What I mean by that is when you edge your way sniffing, tasting, trying bits here and there, you get to a point where you fall hopelessly in love with bleu and find yourself in a chasm where you can’t climb out.
Bleu is good crumbled on steak or burgers, tossed in salads such as Park City Salad, loaded in bleu cheese dressing, paired with buffalo wings, topped on roasted pickled beets, combined with eggs on sandwiches, mixed in dips and the star of cheese balls. This terrine is a diversion from savory with a light creamy sweetness.
Recipe: Maytag Bleu Terrine with Fruit and Nuts
Prep Time: 8 Min | Inactive Time: 3 Hours | Cook Time: 0 Minutes | Yield: 7×1 1/2” Circle | Level: Easy
- 4 oz mascarpone cheese
- 2 Tbsp honey
- freshly ground pepper
- 1/2 lb Maytag bleu cheese, crumbled
- 1/3 cup diced dried apricots
- 1/3 cup dried cranberries
- 1/2 cup broken roasted pecans
Special Equipment – pastry cutter
1 Combine mascarpone, honey and a couple grinds of pepper in a medium bowl.
3 Add the apricots, cranberries and pecans and lightly mix just to combine.
4 Line a 6-8” round container with a large piece of plastic wrap. Scoop the mixture pressing into to the shape and leveling the top. Fold the excess plastic over and tightly wrap. Refrigerate for 3 hours or overnight to meld flavors.
5 To serve, unmold and place on a serving platter. Allow to rest on the counter for 30 minutes to soften. Add mixed crackers or crostini and garnish with dried fruit and nuts.
Using a bleu that is not too soft but also not to firm works best. If completely creamed in to the mascarpone it will cause the terrine to have a dingy color. Striations of bleu are desired. While the cheese chills, the tangy potent bleu cheese flavor permeates the mascarpone.
To toast pecans, place in a dry sauté pan over medium high heat. Heat for 2-3 minutes tossing frequently. They scorch easily so keep an eye on them.
This bleu terrine can be made a few days in advance. It can be frozen for 1 month but omit the nuts as they will soften. Garnish the top with toasted pecans once it is defrosted and allowed to softened.
Traditionally bleu cheese or roquefort is made in Europe with sheep’s milk and aged in caves with cool temperatures and high humidity. Maytag is a bleu cheese made in America by grandsons of Fredrick L. Maytag I, the appliance company founder. In the beginning they used milk from their dad’s, E.H. Maytag, prize winning holsteins. Also aged in caves, it’s an American ‘cheese’ success story made possible by researchers at Iowa State University.
This is a quasi terrine as it is formed in a bowl, pan or container to create the shape but unmolded for serving. It could also be served in a low dish or bowl more like a traditional terrine.
Serve with a variety of crisp crackers or crostini, red grapes, dried apricots, and pecan halves. This combination has a beautiful color palette of kraft paper with soft reds and golds.
- Exchange Maytag Bleu for another bleu cheese desired.
- Exchange dried cranberries for golden raisins, dried figs or dates.
- Exchange pecans for walnuts or pistachios or use a mix.
Inspiration – Dave Roberts
Cook with Sauces
Written by Helen Horton
Photographs by Helen Horton
Updated: December 28, 2012