Vacherin is a seasonal cheese that becomes available in early December. It is produced in both France and Switzerland. The Swiss version, Vacherin Mont d’Or is made from pasteurised milk, while the French version, Vacherin du Haut-Doubs uses unpasteurised milk.
If the cheese is perfectly ripe, it can be eaten without cooking. However, baking it enhances its buttery, sharp flavour. Bake it directly in the wooden case it comes in (make sure it is stapled and not glued together) and serve with Muscat grapes, quince paste, crusty bread and a peppery watercress salad.
It makes a quick and satisfying supper or starter to share with family and friends.
It is recommended to avoid unpasteurised milk cheeses if you are pregnant, are a young child or are undergoing chemotherapy. If you fall into one of these categories, opt for the pasteurised version of the vacherin instead.
Recipe created by Nourish cook and Dietitian, Clare Gray.
Preparation time: 5 minutes
Cooking time: 20-25 minutes
1 x 400g Vacherin
1 clove garlic, peeled and thinly sliced
a few sprigs of thyme or rosemary
2 tablespoons white wine
pinch of black pepper
- Preheat the oven to 180°C (160°C fan)
- Remove the wooden lid and any plastic or paper wrapping from the cheese and return to its wooden box.
- Using a small knife, make slits in the cheese and place in slithers of garlic and the sprigs of thyme or rosemary.
- Pour over the white wine and sprinkle with a pinch of black pepper.
- Wrap the outside of the container in foil but leave the top exposed and place on a baking tray.
- Place in the oven for 20- 25 minutes, the cheese should be very hot.
- Remove from the oven, take off the foil and serve immediately with the suggested accompaniments.
If cooking for a larger party, use 800g or 1.2kg of Vacherin. Allow an extra 5-10 minutes in the oven depending on the size of the cheese.
If you want to make this meal a little more substantial, additions such as cooked ham or boiled new potatoes also work well alongside.