Summer vegetables are here. Sometimes it's best to just eat them raw, or in fresh bright salads. But with all that bunny munching, you probably need something savoury to remind you that you are human and that cheese is food of the gods.
Here is that dish.
Switzerland has so many fine hard cheeses, it's difficult to choose one for your cheese pudding. Of course you could go with the perennial favourites, Gruyère or Emmentaler, or any kind of mountain or alp cheese from your local dairy. Or a mix of mystery cheeses from your cheese box. Or try another classic Swiss cheese, like the two below:
Some form of Appenzeller cheese was first mentioned in a document from 1282, where it is listed as part of the pension payment of an Abbot from the St Gallen monastery. Today it is still produced in the Appenzell region by about 75 dairies. It remains a popular hard cheese, which can be used for fondue and Raclette, as well as a myriad of other dishes. Their famous advertisements show a trio of farmers dressed in the traditional Appenzeller costume, often 'guarding' the cheese's secret recipe (a mix of herbs used in brining) that supposedly only two people in the world know.
Tilsiter is named for a city in East Prussia, Tilsit (which today belongs to Russia and is called Sovetsk), where Swiss immigrants began to make a semi-hard cheese in the style of the alp cheeses from home. It wasn't until 1893 that one of the Swiss-Prussian cheesemakers returned to Switzerland, recipe in pocket, and began to produce the cheese in a little town in the canton of Thurgau. There are hard varieties, excellent for melting, and also a popular milder, creamy variety.
100 ml cream
150 g hard cheese, grated
salt, pepper, nutmeg
2 tbsp cornstarch
2 tbsp milk
Preheat oven to 200 C / 400 F / gas mark 6.
Butter 4 ramekins and place them in a roasting pan or casserole dish—this will act as your water bath in the oven.
In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs and cream, then add the grated cheese.
In a small dish, whisk together the cornstarch and milk. Add this to the eggy cheese mixture and mix well.
Meanwhile, boil a kettle of water. This will be used for the water bath.
Pour the batter into the well-buttered ramekins. Fill the roasting pan or casserole dish with the boiling water so that the water reaches 3/4 of the way up the ramekins.
Bake for 30 minutes.
Of course in Switzerland we are spoiled for choice when it comes to cheese, but this pudding would really work with many different kinds—cheddar, edam, oka, etc.