……with Le Rustique
How do you improve upon perfection? Well, I think I have the answer, today’s post is all about French Cheese and English Honey……and to improve upon the natural perfection of both ingredients, I’ve created three fabulous recipes with the French brand, Le Rustique, using English honey for the perfect culinary entente cordiale! Today’s recipes use Le Rustique’s famous Camembert cheese, as well as its Brie, and all three recipes are easy to make and would be perfect for a family get-together over the Easter weekend, as well as during the summer months. To tantalise your taste-buds, the three recipes using Le Rustique cheese and English honey are: Le Rustique Camembert and Apple Scones with Honey Butter; Le Rustique Camembert and Hazelnut Parcels with Quick Fruit and Honey Chutney and Le Rustique Brie Tartlets with Honey Onion Relish……
……all three recipes are shared below on printable recipe cards, and they all use store-cupboard and easily accessible ingredients, including the cheese and honey. I’m a big fan of Le Rustique, it’s my “to go to” Camembert, and I have enjoyed their Brie many times too. I love how you can buy the cheese in its little gingham lined wooden box and age it to your personal taste, from “young” to “mature”, the cheese is wrapped in a breathable waxed paper that allows it to “affinage” to your personal requirements from between 35 days and 20 days before the “use by date”. The history of the cheese is about one man’s passion for authentic French recipes and flavours, combined with his love for cheese. In 1975, a Normandy dairy farmer called Jean Verrier developed the traditional recipe for his famously creamy textured Camembert. Since then, Le Rustique cheese-makers have maintained the same age-old artisan techniques and recipes to deliver these creamy cheeses, becoming the recognised brand that it is today.
To launch these new bespoke recipes that I created with Le Rustique, I was invited to attend a press event at St Ermin’s Hotel in London a few weeks ago, where I baked two of the recipes that I’m sharing today, the Camembert and Apple Scones with Honey Butter and the Brie Tartlets with Honey Onion Relish, as well as giving a talk about how to serve, cook and bake with Le Rustique Camembert and Brie cheeses, and how to pair them with a selection of English honey from The London Honey Company. Myself and all of the journalists and bloggers who attended the event were also treated to a fascinating visit up to the hotel’s rooftop bee hives, where the St Ermin’s Hotel resident Bee Keeper, Camilla, introduced us to her newly awakened charges, as the bees were just coming out of winter hibernation. St. Ermin’s’ bees have fantastic access to some of London’s major parks, all within a three-mile radius, where they collect a wide variety of pollen and nectar, giving their honey a truly delicious taste. Cities like London trap heat, meaning these bees can start foraging earlier than rural bees and continue later into autumn, which is where urban bees win over their country cousins.
My recipe brief was to combine the creamy, rich taste of authentic Le Rustique Camembert with honey, for a natural food pairing idea; although some of the media people who attended the event were a little sceptical about cheese and honey as a pairing, most of them left agreeing that this is a match made in heaven, and they all had the opportunity to sample a variety of English honey with different ages Camembert cheeses. There were three honeys to drizzle and dollop onto the cheese, BELL HEATHER – a raw honey from the Dorset moors. This distinct, aromatic, floral raw honey is jelly like in consistency and is highly prized. With bitter-sweet notes, it’s wonderful when served with a slightly salty cheese such as Pecorino, or a mature Le Rustique Camembert. I used the honey in my recipe for Camembert and Hazelnut Parcels with Quick Fruit and Honey Chutney, and the aromatic flavours really enhances the taste of the Quick Fruit and Honey Chutney.
The next honey, ISLE OF PURBECK, is also from Dorset, but from the coast; a vibrant, distinctive, spring, raw honey characterised by nectar from the tiny white Hawthorn blossom, which is foraged by bees on the Dorset coast. Good with yogurt, fruits and bread, as well as a “Ripe” Camembert Cheese, I used this honey in my recipe for Camembert and Apple Scones with Honey Butter, as the floral honey blended with the salted butter to create the most amazing, complex and tasty “salted honey butter” flavour, which married well with the richness, as well as sharpness, of the cheese and apple scones. Think salted caramel, and you have an idea of how delectable the salted honey butter was when served with the scones.
The intriguing WOOD SAGE honey was used in my last recipe for Brie Tartlets with Honey Onion Relish; this honey is made from wild flowers of wood sage, which produces an unusual honey with savoury herb and woody notes, from coastal foraging of the Kent coast. This herbal flavour worked like a dream with the vinegar and onions, in the Honey and Onion Relish that I made for the tartlet recipe, and it was also wonderful when served with “young” Camembert too. All of the honeys would be a wonderful accompaniment to Le Rustique Camembert and Brie cheese, and my perfect cheeseboard always has a pot of honey for cheesy drizzling and dipping. Cheese and honey is a unique food pairing and it is essential to create the right balance between the two in order to not confuse the taste buds, so do try before you buy and serve. I hope the three recipes that I’m sharing with you today will inspire you to cook with cheese and honey, and open up a whole new world of cooking with Le Rustique Camembert and Brie too! Karen
Disclaimer: Collaborative paid work with Le Rustique
Lavender and Lovage with Le Rustique Recipes:
Le Rustique Fact File:
The Normandy farmers we work with, mainly run family farms with around 50 to 70 cows per herd.
The farmers lives revolve around the cows’ routine: milking times, moving fields, it’s all for the well-being of the cows.The well-being of the animals also plays a role in preserving the rich resources of Normandy.
The Le Rustique farmers monitor energy and water use to reduce the environmental impact. This respect for nature means that Normandy produces cheeses with a worldwide reputation, like Le Rustique Camembert.
Le Rustique Cheeses are in constant evolution, and each stage has its own taste; the maturing process can be divided into three stages:
YOUNG: 35 days before the “use by date” – Firm texture and a light, fresh flavour
RIPE: 20 to 35 days before the “use by date” – Soft “melt-in-the-mouth texture with a distinctive almost mushroom flavour
MATURE: 20 days before the “use by date” – a creamy, runny and soft texture with a very pronounced and complex flavour.
Over the years, Le Rustique became a fixture in French households. You can spot their cheese in an instant, thanks to the wooden box with its heat-branded design and red and white Gingham cloth! It is said that a merchant with an excess stock of red and white Gingham cloth suggested to Jean Verrier that he could use them to present his famous Camembert, in a simple, authentic style.
Le Rustique Products:
Camembert in 8 portions: 240g
Brie de caractère: 200g
1000 LE RUSTIQUE HAMPERS TO BE WON!
Le Rustique is ready to celebrate the arrival of spring in style! We’ve got 1,000 personalised Le Rustique hampers available to be won! Each Le Rustique hamper is made from antique wash finish willow with cream faux leather fixings and can be personalised with up to 3 characters of your choice on one side. The picnic hampers are complete with porcelain plates, wine glasses, cutlery, a cooler bag, napkins, bottle opener, corkscrew and two bottles of Calvet wine to ensure you have all you need for the perfect picnic.
For a chance to win your very own personalised picnic hamper, simply purchase a promotional pack of Le Rustique de Printemps Camembert or Brie and find the unique code printed inside the promotional sticker.
You can then enter your unique code online here, before 31.07.17, to find out instantly if you are a winner.
You can also find codes on the back of promotional Calvet wine bottles, click here to find out more.
Hurry, packs are only expected in store until the end of June!
GB only. 18+. Keep receipt & sticker or neck collar. Closes 31.07.17. Online registration required. Online instant win. Purchase necessary. Internet access required. Prizes: 1,000 personalised picnic hampers available to be won.
Click here for full details, entry and T&Cs.
Le Rustique Camembert “Scotch Eggs” Two Ways with Honey and Mustard Dip