Fromage de Printemps à la Mode de Père Houghton

Father Houghton’s Spring Cheese

In early May an English priest domiciled in France for many years looks down from his high windows to the rushing Rhône below. The river here is wide and blue-grey and in calm weather reflects the orange TGV train as it flies south. Father Houghton waits until his apricot tree is in blossom and then sets off for the market, hoping to find some of the first strawberries of the season, probably ripened under glass near Carpentras. If he is lucky he hurries back with strawberries and a couple of freshly drained – en faisselle – goats’ cheeses to make his Vivarais variation of English strawberries and cream.

Ingredients

  • 2 very fresh goats’ cheeses
  • 4–6 tablespoons crème fraîche
  • a little caster sugar
  • 450 g(1 lb) ripe strawberries

Method

Use a fork to mash the goats’ cheese and add sufficient crème fraîche to give a soft dropping consistency rather like whipped double cream. Sweeten to taste with a little sugar but don’t lose the delightful taste of the fresh cheese.

Serve with whole or halved strawberries.

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