Soufflé au Bleu d’Auvergne

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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.

Ingredients

  • 3 celery stalks, strings removed and chopped
  • 30 g/ 1 oz butter
  • 5 eggs
  • 600 ml/ 1 pt warm béchamel sauce
  • 350 g/ 12 oz bleu d’Auvergne cheese, crumbled
  • salt and pepper
  • freshly grated nutmeg
  • 25-cm / 10-inch shortcrust pastry shell, baked blind

Method

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.

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