Saturday, October 29, 2011

We love Cheese

I know that I have told you before that we love cheese! We love warm goat cheese on a bed of butter lettuce lightly dressed with tangy vinaigrette, yummy macaroni and cheese, raclette cheese with warm boiled potatoes, and fondue made with a blend of Gruyère and Vacherin Fribourgeois.

We also love to finish meals with cheese especially when the cheese selections include Saint-Félicien, Cantal, Roquefort or Gruyère. Our favorite cheese from Provence is Banon, a tasty disk of goat cheese wrapped in grape leaves made in the region around the town of Banon.

One of the first things we do upon arriving in Sablet is to head to Vaison-la-Romaine to pick up an assortment of cheese from Josiane Deal at Lou Canesteou, the wonderful cheese shop located on Rue Raspail off Place Montfort, the town's main square.

As you can see on the front of the store, Josiane Deal has been named a Meilleur Ouvrier de France - literally translated as best worker of France, for her cheese knowledge and skill in aging cheese. In addition to her many cheese choices, the store also has a good selection of gourmet products such as wines, locally produced saffron, honey, risotto, pasta, dried mushrooms, locally produced jams and olive oil.

Step through the beaded curtain into Lou Canesteou and you will immediately smell a wonderful aroma from the ripe cheese displayed in the refrigerated cases and on shelves along the back wall. By now, Madame Deal recognizes us and we get a very warm 'bonjour". I always ask her to recommend a variety of cheeses and without fail, she makes selections that we love.

It is not unusual to see on the menus of area restaurants that "fromage sélectionner" - cheese chosen by Josiane Deal. The association with Josiane Deal is obviously an indication of high quality. I once mentioned to her that we had a cheese plate the night before at a local restaurant where this was written on the menu and she told me she didn't think she supplied any cheese to that restaurant. So be aware.

We also love quiches with cheese and tarte au fromage - cheese pie. I must admit that I am intimidated at the thought of making my own pastry dough, especially rolling it out. So although I do most of the cooking when I am around, wife Shirley is a pro with pastry dough and always makes our pies and tartes.

In addition to the fondue and raclette we made while we were in Sablet a few weeks ago, we also enjoyed a tasty cheese pie that Shirley made for us. Here is the recipe, just a few ingredients and easy to make (except for me since I don't do crusts).

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.


8 ounces grated Gruyère cheese
2 tablespoons flour
1 3/4 cup milk
2 large eggs
2-3 cloves minced garlic depending upon size and taste
1/4 teaspoon salt


1. Make your favorite savory pastry dough or buy a good quality store bought crust.
2. Place your crust in a glass pie pan or in a tart pan with a removable bottom. Crimp the dough around the edge of the pie dish or tart pan so that the crust stays at the top of the dish.
3. Take a fork and pierce the dough on the bottom of the unbaked pie evenly over the bottom of the dish.
4. Prebake the crust in the middle of the oven until lightly browned, 10 to 15 minutes.
5. Remove from oven and reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees.
6. Dredge the flour with the grated cheese and spread evenly in the pie dish or tart pan.
7. Whisk the milk, eggs, minced garlic and salt together.
8. Pour your milk and egg mixture over the cheese, making sure it is evenly spread out and cheese is covered.
9. Bake the cheese pie for 40 minutes. The pie should be golden brown on top and should be pretty set when lightly shaken.
10. Upon removable from the oven, let the baked cheese pie sit for 10 minutes before you slice and serve.

Bon appétit et à bientôt mes amis.


  1. Yummm! It sounds totally doable. Thanks for sharing the recipe.

  2. That's funny (and not too surprising) about a restaurant saying that Josiane supplied the cheese, when in fact, she didn't. She must be good...another name on my list for when I get over that way.

  3. Mmm. I love the cheese in france. Haven't found a good fromagerie near us though.

  4. Your Tart au Fromage sounds delicious - I will give it a try.

  5. Ummm! You post the best recipes. I would have never thought of making a cheese pie, but boy this looks great!

  6. Rosaria - The pie is delicious. Definitely make it. Thanks for checking in my blog and leaving a comment.

    Meredith - If you get to Vaison-la-Romaine make sure you stop in at Lou Canesteou. She has an amazing number of cheeses and knows them all.

    Megan - We certainly haven't seen any other cheese shops where we have explored except for Aix-en-Provence.

    Barbara - Let me know what you think if you try it out. We love this Tart au Fromage.

    Ashley - We love cheese pie. I remember my grandmother making them when we visited her in Switzerland because my mother was a vegetarian.

  7. That Fromagerie looks amazing!
    And aren't I lucky... Banon is just down the road :-)

  8. Ohh, what a great post! Of course we are huge cheese fans as well & lucky enough to have one excellent cheese shop in our town. Although I think your Lou Canesteou might top it, can't wait to check it out!

  9. Sara - You are lucky. I have printed off maps from Sablet to Banon from Via Michelin because I hope to get there during one of our sojourns in Sablet.

    Tuula - Lou Canesteou is very good. We have not seen a lot of cheese shops in Provence so we consider ourselves very lucky to have a good one close by.

  10. Definitely must try this recipe...sounds/looks DELICIOUS!

  11. Mmmmm, love the aroma of a good cheese shop!

  12. Labergerebasque - Thanks for checking out my blog and leaving a comment. I think you will love the tart.

    Camille - I know there are fabulous cheese shops in Paris but Lou Canesteou would be a big hit there too.