Bleu d’Auvergne is a strong-flavoured blue-veined cheese from that central, mountainous part of France, the Massif Central. This is a lovely dish that combines soufflé and crisp tart shell, and is delicious served either hot or at room temperature.
Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/ gas 4. Fry the celery in the butter until soft and reserve.
Separate the eggs and whisk the whites until stiff.
Stir the yolks one at a time into the béchamel sauce, which should be just warm. Stir in the cheese. Season to taste with salt, pepper and nutmeg. Stir in the celery.
Stir in a big spoonful of whites, then fold the rest in gently. Pour into the pastry case and bake for 20–25 minutes, when the top will be nicely risen and golden brown.
© 1998 Alastair Little and Richard Whittington estate. All rights reserved.