Valencay cheese is made in the area known as Berry Province in the Loire Valley. It is an unpasteurised goats-milk cheese which is in a pyramid shape with the top cut off – the subject of many a legend including one that Napoleon himself did the cutting since it angered him to be reminded of his military problems in Egypt where he had ultimately failed to seize Egypt for France.
Valencay can be eaten at different stages and when young it has a fresh, slightly citric taste. As it gets older the cheese thickens and takes on a nutty taste and it is the older cheese that works best with this recipe…
Valencay cheese, 1 pyramid (200g) of about 5-6 months age
4 large apples – Golden Delicious is best
Salad leaves of your choice
Walnut oil dressing
Handful of walnuts
How to make it:
Peel the apples and core them, then cut them into slices about 1/2 cm thick.
Put the slices of apple in cold water with a squirt of lemon juice until you serve them so they don’t discolour.
Grate the Valençay (as it is an older cheese it will flake as it should)
Make up the millefeuille (thousand leaves) by putting a slice of apple on a plate, then grated cheese on top followed by apple, cheese until you have 3-4 layers and a pile of cheese on top.
Serve with the salad leaves, drizzle with the walnut oil and sprinkle the nuts and voila – a perfect, simple French summer starter.