“Winters are long in Sweden,” Alex reminded me. I’d just flipped to the Swedish Cheese Custard in my 100-year old copy of the “Pan Pacific Cookbook” and lifted my eyebrows. My eyebrows lifted further as I scanned the main ingredients – cheese, eggs, and milk.
She laughed and nodded.
Turns out Cheese Custard is a dairy farmer’s happy place.
Perfect after a casual ski through deep snow.
But one question remained… Is cheese custard good?
Cheese custard is a question mark on this side of the Atlantic Ocean. We don’t typically eat savory chilled custards. But Swede’s know it is a silky, indulgent affair. It’s as if someone took the ingredients to a quiche and mixed them up – there’s fewer eggs, more cheese and much more milk.
All that milk? It makes for a delicate spoonful.
The most fun?
As the custard cools the cheese creates a soft, flaky crust. The golden top looks similar to the crust of France’s often swooned over crème brûlée. My friend recommended using Jalsburg cheese – unless you can find Sweden’s whiskey-cured Prästost. Jalsburg gives the custard a mild, nutty flavor with a little extra salt concentrated in the flaky crust.
It’s a ladies who brunch sort of affair.
Trim ramekins arrive cool from the refrigerator, as fine as crème brûlée but with the same addictive qualities as a salty bag of potato chips. There’s a salad with thinly sliced fennel and garden tomatoes on the side. Feathery fennel fronds give the vinaigrette a gentle licorice note.
Perfect for baby showers and bridal showers.
Perfect for brunch.
… perfect to park your yellow 18-wheeler next to.
Ava has big ideas when it comes to food styling. I love her boundless creativity!
I also love this tooth situation.
How to make Swedish Cheese Custard
There are barely five ingredients in this recipe – cheese, eggs, milk, paprika, and salt – so technique is what is going to make the custard exceptional.
– melting the cheese into hot milk
– tempering the eggs with the milk mixture
– straining the custard mixture
Kids will like the smooth texture and soft cheese crust. Encourage them to help you make it; They’ll love watching the cheese “disappear” into the milk.
Speaking of kids… Ava is growing up waaay to fast.
Six-years old and a first grader.
SO. Indulge me for a moment and let’s enjoy this custard with a side of nostalgia.
To help you with that, here’s a (hypnotic) Swedish tree.
See how much it changes in a year?