Västerbottensostpaj is a Swedish classic. The cheese is usually available at supermarkets and delicatessen counters, although if you can't track it down you can use mature cheddar cheese instead.
125 g (1 cup) plain (all-purpose) flour
A pinch of salt
100g (7 tbsp) butterm, cut into small cubes
2 tbsp cold water
225g (8oz) Västerbottensost or mature (sharp) Cheddar cheese, grated
200 ml (¾ cup) whipping cream or double (heavy) cream
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1. Add the flour and a pinch of salt to a food processor. Whizz briefly.
2. Add the butter and process for ten-15 seconds until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Sprinkle on the water and process for 20-30 seconds until the pastry clings together and forms a ball. Remove the pastry from the machine and knead it lightly to form a small ball. Wrap in cling film (food wrap) and refrigerate for 30 minutes (or up to 24 hours).
3. Preheat the oven to 200°C (400°F, gas mark 6, fan 180°C). Roll out the pastry on a lightly floured surface and line a deep 20cm flan tin (pan). Line the pastry with a sheet of greaseproof (waxed) paper and fill with baking beans. Bake blind for ten minutes until the pastry has set.
4. Carefully remove the baking beans and greaseproof paper then return to the oven for a further five minutes until the base is dry.
5. Meanwhile, beat the eggs and cream together, add the cheese and season to taste, bearing in mind that the cheese is very salty.
6. Remove the flan from the oven and pour in the cheese mix. Bake for about 30 minutes until it is set and golden brown.
7. Allow the pie to cool in the tin (pan) and serve warm or cold.
Västerbotten in northern Sweden where the famous cheese comes from. Photo: Staffan Widstrand/Image Bank Sweden
– The pie is also nice served slightly warm with new potatoes and salad
– It goes well with onion marmalade or löjrom (bleak roe), crème fraîche and chopped chives
– These make delicious individual pies for a picnic.
– Add some fried onion and chanterelle mushrooms to make “Västerbottens-paj med kantereller”, but reduce the cooking time by about ten minutes.