“Is making a Cheese flan difficult?”
“Why?” , I was suspicious when Mr. Swiss asks, what was he planning? I must admit he has become perfect in baking an apple flan, so perfect that I was eating them at least 2-3 times a week. Not that I do not like apple flan, I love them, but they were becoming a habit and I was perhaps no longer giving them the appreciation they deserved. Indeed, he was quite disappointed on our last shopping trip when I happened to mention that he should perhaps not buy apples and pastry to make a further apple flan.
“You don’t like them?”
“Of course I do, they are super, but together with my diabetes and other problems, I have decided to cut down on my sugar intake.”
Of course this was true, although I always made exceptions, even if they did become a rule now and again. Mr. Swiss thinks only of me and helps where possible, and so the idea of a cheese flan (Käsekuchen in our local Swiss German) was born. It is a Swiss thing and generally eaten as an evening meal accompanied with a plate of soup and served fresh and warm from the oven.
My reaction was perhaps not so immediately positive, as this was a step forwards from the general apple flan which annyone could bake, although Mr. Swiss had brought this to perfection, to something a little more advanced. However the great gourmet cooks amongst us are always searching for new opportunitis to develop their skills.
“You have to get pastry.” I said.”
“The normal, or flaky?” You see he was on the way to becoming a professional realising that there were two sorts you could buy, ready rolled out, packed in plastic in the supermarket.
I told him that the normal would be fine, thinking of the crumbly mess that flaky pastry could cause. We now progressed to the cheese, but he was always attentive when I baked this particular dish and knew that our usual was gruyère cheese. I told him he would have to grate it to fine pieces and place it on the pastry. He already knew that he assured me, after all he was a professional apple flan baker. I added that he should mix a handful of flour into the cheese. It was then he had a questioning expression on his face, but I think he got the hang of it. We then progressed to the liquid addition to the cheese. This was not so difficult, as it was almost the same as the apple flan, eggs and milk/cream but without sugar and just added pepper to give it a push.
We now had a problem as you bake the apple flan wihout adding the liquid for 15-20 minutes to make sure the pasty gets nice and crispy. However, this cannot be done with the cheese flan, you have to do it all at once. I think he got the idea so tomorrow evening will be the première. He added I would be at home in any case, so he could always ask me. He was convinced that a home made cheese flan would be better than the frozen ones you buy in the supermarket. “Of course” I said. Who am I to deter the ambitions of a master cook.