I had the pleasure of being invited to the Divertimenti Cookery School for a cookery demonstration by private chef, Laura Pope using just Comte cheese as the main ingredient. Did I leave heavier than when I went it? You bet I did! I am a massive cheese buff and couldn’t get enough into my cheeks, there were so many delicious cheese recipes, I couldn’t help it!
As basic as they sound, the cheese scones where absolutely delicious and can you believe it, three children later and I had never made a scone until the cookery class.
These scones are perfect for Easter and for packed lunches too. The beauty of these scones is that they are fuss free and so easy and quick to make. The secret is in the resting times and not overworking the dough.
Comte Cheese Scones (perfect with fig jam)
- 250g plain flour
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp caster sugar
- 60g unsalted butter chilled and diced
- 100g Comté cheese grated
- 1 free-range egg, beaten
- 100ml whole milk
- 1 free range beaten egg yolk
- Preheat the oven to 200C. (180°C fan oven)
- Mix together the flour, baking powder, salt with a balloon whisk to aerate the flour then gently rub in the butter until you get fine breadcrumbs. Fold through the cheese, Beat the egg and milk together and mix everything together with a palette knife. Then use your hands to bring it into a dough.
- Leave it to rest for 10 minutes
- Turn out and loosely press into a 3cm thick patty. Place on a greased, lined baking tray, brush with beaten yolk and any spare grated cheese you have. Bake for 12 – 15 mins, until golden brown and a crust has formed on top. Allow to cool.
Tip: Follow the resting times for the perfect scone and try not to overwork the dough so the butter stays cold and the texture crumbly.
So what’s the all the fuss about Comte Cheese?
Created in the Jura Massif region in Eastern France and the milk to make the cheese comes from Comté cows which are authorised exclusively from the Montbéliarde and French Simmental.
The colour of the cheese can change quite significantly depending on what the cows are eating. During the summer, the cows graze on wild grasses and flowers so their diets are high in beta-carotene making the cheese yellow. In the winter, the cows eat hay so the cheese is much whiter in colour.
18, 24 and 36 months aged, the taste difference between them is incredible. The 18 months is really creamy and mellow whilst the 36 aged is zingy, nutty and has a very strong after taste, perfect for dishes that require a stronger flavour.
Where can I buy Comte from? You can buy it in most supermarkets and speciality shops http://www.comtecheese.co.uk/where-to-buy/
Laura Pope is private chef & cookery writer and you can learn more about her fabulous recipes here