Just came back from my short trip to Provence, the South of France – only a week it lasted but how long it actually felt! Both when I was there and when I returned and found out that I was missing at least a month – or so it felt! There’s this usually short period between your coming back from a journey and the reinstatement in your habitual life – and it’s a weird moment of not knowing where you are, actually. Suddenly everything looks unfamiliar, you feel estranged and it still seems that you’re not here for long, that the journey will continue.
This journey was a condensed one, after which I would not mind a short recuperation… But I totally loved it! Walking (a lot), hiking (a bit but what views, what wind, what emotions!), biking (the greatest means of transport!), running (what could be better than jogging and discovering new areas at the same time?), lots of trains, some buses and cars. And then more walking and abundant breakfasts to make up for it (or vice versa)… The abrupt sunsets and slow sunrises, absolutely driving-me-crazy Mediterranean aromas and warm wind. Backache and sleeping without hind legs (=like a log). Simple food – whole wheat bread, fresh cheese, apples and yogurt. Great to rediscover taste for those simple things!
And there was the concert. At first (and it lasted quite long actually) it felt I was not there, I was somewhere else – or was it a recording? David Gilmour’s amazing voice coming right into my ears from down there while I was sitting on top of the Roman amphitheater in Orange.
Opening to people and accepting all the ridiculous accidents on the road. Travelling alone brings you somehow closer to the place and the people. Oh, I will need several posts to express all that, for sure. Meanwhile – a recipe of a French pie with – bien sûr – French cheese! Yes, brought all those well cheese-smelling cheeses back to Russia 🙂 And not only cheese… My back still recalls the weight of the rucksack (14 kg…) which in its turn is waiting to me mended 🙂
A year ago – From Sunny Greece to Autumn Leaves in St Pete
Two years ago – Herb Buns Digest
Three years ago – Peach, Apple, Plums and Banana: Pies and Rolls
Four years ago – Introduction to Soviet Creativity and Practicality
Tarte au Coulommiers translated and adapted from www.marmiton.org will make a substantial pie with that cheese flavor you just cannot imitate! See my remarks in italics.
- pâte brisée – made my own pastry, feel free to use your favourite recipe or follow the link
- 3 to 4 small potatoes – I used 4 medium
- 1 Coulommiers cheese or 1 Brie – I put almost an entire Coulommiers except for those pieces eaten before filling the pie 🙂
- 3 egg
- 100 ml liquid crème fraîche (30-45% fat French sour cream) – I used plain 2.5% fat milk
- 150 g grated Gruyère – some Russian cheese, ooops!
Cook peeled potatoes in water (I didn’t leave them to cook completely).
Roll out the pastry and place it in the pan (I also used parchment paper). First layer – slices of Coulommiers or Brie, second layer – potatoes cut in rounds. Next comes grated cheese.
Mix the eggs with crème liquide, add salt and pepper. Pour the mixture on top (here I also added some herbes de Provence). Bake at 180 ‘C for about 30 minutes.
Remarks: I had no ready-made pastry, so I threw in some cold butter, salt, flour and mixed it with water, then left the dough in the fridge. It worked! The leftover pastry became a small pie with chicken and potatoes – a special treat for my Dad. As for the milk instead of sour cream – I think it was a good idea, given that the potatoes and the cheese(s) are already quite nutritious (not to say fatty:).
Result: Serve this pie with a green salad à coté – even the non-vegetarians will enjoy it! The cheese in this pie is that very cheese. The tangy cheese creates a great combination with the soft potatoes. Although I’m not a fan of those Brie-like cheeses, I liked how it ‘worked’ in this pie! It just wouldn’t be the same with any other cheese…
Will come back with lots of photos. And more food!