May 28th, 2011

Asparagus, Keens Cheddar Brûlée

Early summer, new life, beautiful lush coloured flowers and the taste of asparagus. Mmm What a wonderful time of the year!?

The king of vegies and best of all it grows here on my doorstep. The Suffolk sandlings is the perfect place, with its soft sandy soil.

Early on in the season it’s at its sweetest and most tender. The British asparagus season is short but when it’s here we love it! Simplicity is key. For me the humble egg is the best best companion, whether hens or ducks eggs soft boiled with plenty of Maldon sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper.

The team is working hard, we finally turned the waste land by the back door into a tiny…no lets rephrase that…. minute organic kitchen garden. Inspiration for the boys to go out and pick a few flowers, herbs and strawberries. Well it’s not enough for us to serve the restaurant. We heavily rely on as many freebies, from Dans mums garden and a top up from David keeps our fridges filled with summer lushness.

The garden has unfortunately fallen into the hands, mouths and beaks of the two, four, five, ten and twenty legged creatures living out there. However, I’m turning a blind eye, It’s keeping me sane, when needs must, I pop out to “water” the garden and then all the worldly sins are forgotten.

Let them eat…kolhrabi! if it’s the only price I have to pay for my own sanity!

This Keens cheddar brûlée is one of the simpler recipes that highlights the taste of the fantastic asparagus. It’s easy to prepare and brings a wonderful smile and ‘wow’ to the dining table. I did use my beloved Thermomix for this recipe, however, if you do not have one, do not panic. Simply use a old fashioned double boiler. The traditional method is just as effective however it involves stirring and ones constant attention.

The beauty and purpose of the chive flower: They are spectacular, bright purple blue and interestingly beautiful. Not only are they pretty to look at however have several functions. It’s perfect for eating and brightens up any dish. If planted in the garden the purple blue attracts bees, encourage pollination. On the other hand it acts as an insect-repellant and planted to control pests.

Keens Cheddar Brûlée

  • 400ml double cream
  • 8 free range organic hens eggs
  • 80g Keens mature cheddar
  • Salt and freshly cracked black pepper

Place 12 15cl glass jars on a tray in the fridge.

Cut the cheese in four even size pieces. Secure the lid on the thermomix, lock and turn the speed dial to 10, carefully drop the cheese onto the blades and grind the cheese for 10 seconds to a powder. Use the build in weighing scales and weight the rest of the ingredients into the bowl.

Set the timed for 14 minutes at 90°C, speed 3. Once cooked immediately turn pour the brûlée mixture into the chilled serving jars, carefully retrun to the fridge and leave to set over night.

When ready to serve sprinkle demerara sugar onto the cheddar brûlée and use a blow touch to caramelise the sugar, serve immediately.

Conventional Method:

Use a use a double boiler. Finely grate the cheddar cheese, mix with the rest of the ingredients, pour the mixture into the top part of the double boiler. Return to the heat and stir for approximately 14 minutes, until the mixture thickens and the eggs are cooked. Do not over heat the mixture as it will separate and curdle. Continue the recipe above once the mixture is cooked.

Makes 12

Sorrel Pesto

  • 1 bunch of sorrel
  • 30g pine nuts, toasted
  • 20g golden linseeds
  • 30g Parmesan cheese, grated
  • 30ml rapeseed oil
  • 1 clove of garlic, crushed
  • 4 sprigs of mint
  • 1/4 small bunch of parsley
  • Maldon sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper

Toast the linseeds and pine nuts, set aside to cool completely. Place the ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. Taste and adjust the seasoning if needed and let the flavours develop for about 20 minutes.

To Serve: Blanch 8 fresh asparagus spears per person in salted rapid boiling water, refresh in ice water once tender to the knife point. Toss the chilled drained asparagus in a dressing of your choice, I have used a sorrel pesto for this dish. Serve one jar of the Keens cheddar brûlée per portion and a decent helping of fresh bread.


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7 Comments to “Asparagus, Keens Cheddar Brûlée”

  1. Anne and Dave says:

    Madelene

    We adapted this brilliant idea (due to lack of vital ingredients) but it still worked beautifully. We did a goats cheese brûlée, and rocket pesto. It was delicious. I have never heard of a savoury brûlée but we will definitely be having it again.

  2. margarida says:

    Olá,

    Muitos parabéns! Vocês têm um site fantástico , sou grande Fan

    Continuem ,obrigada

  3. Bells says:

    This looks and sound utterly divine. I can’t get enough of the English Asparagus season and I’ve been given a blowtorch for the brulee topping so I will definately be trying this over the weekend!

  4. Alicia Mortlock says:

    Looks wonderful. Must try.

  5. Liz Thomas says:

    Hi Madalene,

    I’m totally intrigued — just what are these “five” legged creatures living in your garden?

    Lovely recipes, I like the idea of the Cheddar Brulee. Just going out to the village shop to see if there’s any asparagus there — yes, it does grow in China!

    Cheers!
    Liz

  6. Y says:

    Cheese + Brulee? Can’t wait to make this :)

  7. I have high hopes for our first home grown asparagus crop this coming Spring. That brûlée sounds a delicious accompaniment. I love the thought of you getting a sanity check by absconding to your little garden. I know what you mean. Although bassets are now banished as they have no self control and kept eating broccoli and strawberries straight out of the beds.

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