Roquefort is renowned throughout the world as the "King of Cheeses". It was named after a village in the south of France and is infamous for its pungent smell and characteristic blue veins of mold.
The story behind the origins of Roquefort blue cheese has been romanticized in an old legend. It begins with a young shepherd who was minding his flock of sheep in the hills of Roquefort when he suddenly sighted a beautiful maiden in the distance. Determined to find her left his dog to guard the sheep and hastily placed his lunch of bread and ewe's milk curds in the nearby caves to keep cool. The shepherd was away for days, looking for his maiden. Unfortunately, he never found her. The shepherd dejected returned to his sheep tired and hungry. When he took his lunch out of the caves, he found that the bread and milk curds were moldy. His hesitation was brief due to his hunger. With some trepidation, the shepherd took a bite and was pleasantly surprised to find that his moldy lunch tasted so good! Roquefort was born!
Whether this story is true or not, the fact remains that Roquefort is delicious. True, it is an acquired taste, and many are thrown off by its strong smell. But this is a pity, because Roquefort's moist and creamy texture is a delectable experience not to be missed.
If you are on the fence about this cheese, why not give this recipe a try. It is the classic paring of a sweet tender pear with the salty pungent cheese. Put together in a pastry shell and filled with a simple mixture of cream and eggs. This lovely tart is a perfect lunch dish or served for a light dinner.-s
Pear & Roquefort Tart
1 recipe for pastry
6 oz. Roquefort
1 ripe pear, peeled, cored, and sliced into small dice
1 cup cream
1 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
freshly ground black pepper
After preparing your pastry dough following the link above, place one round of the uncooked pastry dough into a 10" tart shell with removable bottom.
Scatter prepared pear onto the pastry shell evenly. Then using your fingers break off small chunks of the Roquefort cheese and place in between the pear pieces.
In a small bowl beat the eggs lightly, add the cream, nutmeg and salt and pepper. Mix together well. Pour mixture over the pears and cheese. Bake in a 425 F oven until set, about 20 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature.