Apéro Gourmand – Soft bouchées with sheep Basque cheese and figs
Apéro Gourmand – Bouchées moëlleuses au fromage de brebis et figues
I have to admit that I have a weakness for Basque cheeses, I am not a Basque and far from being one, but I love Basque cuisine and products. I used a pure sheep Basque cheese here, you can use other sheep cheeses but pecorino is too strong, I would select a milder cheese like for example the P’tit Basque which is widely available in the US. It can be grated and melt perfectly well so it can be used in many various types of dishes. Also, its sharpness is particularly pleasant with figs like in this dish, sour cherry jams or any other fruity additions.
Those soft and melting cheese bouchées are perfect served lukewarm for appetizers with a frisée or endive salad. The sweet and soft fig in the middle does balance the pungent and sharp sheep cheese to perfection. Beside, figs are always a wonderful treat to celebrate fall.
My parents have this huge fig tree in their garden in France (they brought a branch back from their garden in Italy) that grew into a gigantic tree and producing tons of large purple figs despite the rough climate of Lorraine. The branches reach the second floor of their house, so basically you can pick figs from the balcony, it is indeed very convenient!
There is over 250 varieties of figs categorized in three color groups: white/green, grey/red, purple/black, some of them are better for a fresh consumption, some other are better dried.
Anyway, this recipe is somehow my celebration of fall, with a clin d’oeil (wink) to Pays Basque, for their wonderful cheeses.
Ingredients for 7 bouchées
- 6.76 fl oz (or 200 ml) milk
- 1 oz (or 30 g) butter
- 4.23 oz (or 120 g) P’tit Basque cheese, grated
- 3 eggs
- 2.46 oz (or 70 g) flour
- salt and pepper
- 7 small purple figs
- fleur de sel
Heat milk in a pot, add butter and using a whisk, mix until the butter has dissolved. Add cheese and let it melt while whisking. In a mixing container, mix flour with eggs, salt and pepper. Add milk/cheese mixture to the eggs/flour mixture.Mix until the batter is smooth and homogeneous.
Divide the batter in small molds. Add one small fig in the middle.
Cook in a pre-heated oven at 370F for about 20 minutes or until the bouchées are slightly golden brown on top.
Remove from oven and let it cool. Sprinkle with fleur de sel and serve lukewarm with a salad.
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