Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Västerbotten Pie

Ok, you can all understand the last part of the title - pie. But what the heck is Västerbotten? Well, the most common explanation is that it's a region of Sweden, located way up north. Homepage - here. Another answer, which is more relevant here, is that it's also the name of a cheese. It's a very strong and sharp cheese, and it has tiny holes in it. I can't really compare it to anything else, but use any similar hard, sharp cheese and I'm sure you'll end up with a delicious pie!

This recipe comes from Lena, who made it for us for Easter. It's absolutely wonderful, creamy and voluptous but with quite a bite. It's best served with a bleak roe sauce, which I sort of improvised when I made this dish for my parents a few weeks ago.

Västerbotten Pie

1 unbaked pie shell (just use your favorite pie crust recipe. I used one which combined butter, flour, water and quark, to get a bit less fat.) No need to bake blind!

3 eggs
300 ml cream
200 g shredded Västerbotten cheese, or any other sharp, tasty cheese
pinch of cayenne pepper

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C (about 350 F.) Whisk together the eggs, cream, cayenne and cheese, and fill the pie shell. Bake for about 25-30 minutes until the filling is set, and lightly golden.

Serve with creme fraiche, finely minced red onions and bleak roe. Or make a sauce from bleak roe, creme fraiche or yogurt, finely minced onions, a pinch of sugar, salt, some dill and black pepper.


Niki said...

Can you believe we can't get quark here in Australia??!! I fell in love with it travelling through Denmark and Germany last year, but we have no real equivalent. I've seen it once, but it was so expensive. What do you think would make a good substitute?

Anne said...

Hmm.. instead of quark, I immediately think of cottage cheese. They're KIND of similar, I wonder if it'd work.. especially if you'd give it a go in the food processor. If not - well, any pie crust will do, but quark is certainly handy to keep the fat content down a bit, and it makes the pie crust a bit extra crunchy.

Anonymous said...

I think you possibly could substitute quark for Ricotta cheese. If Ricotta is less expensive for you...

sylvie1950 said...

Looks good.

Anonymous said...

I'm interested in a Vasterbotten Pie recipe which has salmon in it. I'm dating a Swedish guy and he talks about it alot - any ideas?? Julie UK

Anne said...

Julie, I've never heard of a Vasterbotten pie with salmon IN it - but it's common enough to serve WITH it. I'll look into it though! :)

Anonymous said...

Hi Anne
Glad I found your web site and now I have another question for you.. recently I have tasted a Swedish bread which is the colour and similar texture of German pumpernickel but sweet. I'm currently in UK and want to make it for a girls supper to serve with caviar and red onions and sour cream. Do you have a recipe? Julie

Anne said...

Hi Julie!

I think you might mean Kavring. I don't have a tested recipe, but there's a lot of recipes out there. Not sure if you can find the ingredients though... And most Swedish recipes measure dry goods in milliliters.

Here's one:

600 ml buttermilk
400 ml dark syrup (molasses)
2,5 tbsp baking soda
400 ml flour with extra protein
800 ml fine rye flour (it's actually a kind half rye/half wheat - don't have the translation, sorry)
1 tsp salt

Preheat oven to 180°C. Butter and flour two bread tins. Mix all the dry ingredients in a large bowl. Add syrup and buttermilk, and stir fast into a thick mixture. Don't overwork it. Pour into the tins - going no higher than 3/4 full - and bake for about one hour in the lower half of the oven.

As for the Västerbotten pie - you could just add smoked salmon and maybe some baby spinach to a pie shell, and top with the västerbotten cheese-eggs-cream mixture - in fact, that sounds like a great idea.

Anonymous said...

Thank you Anne it sounds fantastic. I'll let you know what the girls think! Julie X

Jeanne said...

Mmmm, this looks a lot like the cheese pie they used to serve at Glas restaurant in London and that was my all-time favourite starter. I will definitley be giving this one a try soon :)

Kat (Spatula, Spoon and Saturday) said...

Great post. I'm going to try to find this cheese.

Anonymous said...

Et donc, j'ai faim!

Pille said...

Anne, I finally made Västerbottenspaj and LOVED it (I adore the cheese!) I used slightly less cream, however.
I've got some cheese left, and might try some crostini with cheese cream and topped with caviar next (Allt om Mat, again).