In the world of cheeses there is one that stands head and shoulders above the rest in terms of richness. That cheese is St. Andrè. Hailing from France (mais, oui) it is a triple crème cheese with a soft rind and a butterfat content of 70% - rich, indeed.
St. Andrè triple crème cheese - just starting to soften at the top, if left at room temperature for 20 minutes it will become soft and very spreadable.
It pairs perfectly with several light beers and is perfect for spreading on a French baguette. I decided to do something a bit more decadent and designed this dessert tart using this truly luxurious cheese. The crust is very tender and delicate and the filling was perfectly done - not too set, just right. I may make this again with cream cheese replacing the ricotta. Not that it's not divine as-is, but the ricotta makes the texture a bit more grainy than I'd like. I think cream cheese or mascarpone would do very well here.
Find out more about St. Andrè Cheese at the Ile de France website or check out their interactive cheese map for other delicious French cheeses.
St. Andrè Dessert Tart
1 cup lightly toasted pine nuts - divided
1 stick butter
1 1/2 c unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1-2 Tablespoons milk
1 cup ricotta cheese
12 ounces St. Andre cheese - rind removed and at room temperature
1/2 cup sugar
3 large eggs
1/4 teaspoon orange extract
1 teaspoon orange zest
(Larger amounts of orange flavoring mask the cheese too much)
Process 1/2 cup toasted pine nuts until finely chopped. Add butter and pulse until smooth. Add flour and salt and pulse until crumbly. Add milk, as needed, and run processor on low speed until a ball forms. Remove dough from processor and let stand, covered, for 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, combine ricotta, St. Andre, sugar, eggs, extract and zest in processor and pulse until very smooth and well combined. Fold in remaining pine nuts.
Press dough into and up the sides of a greased 10-inch spring-form pan or a pan with removable sides. Pour in filling and bake at 350 degrees F for 40 - 45 minutes or until center is nearly set. Shake the pan gently to determine this. A little jiggle in the center is what you're looking for.
Let cool for 20 minutes or so before refrigerating. Serve chilled.