Cheese o’ clock: Comté

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In response to a well-formed, convincing request (“Bring it back. I want cheese.”) from my old pal, Jenny,  it’s high time to reinstate cheese o’ clock. The star of this post is one of my new favorite cheeses: comté.

Comté is a French cheese that’s described as complex, nutty, and sweet. It pairs well with dried fruit, jams, and nuts.  My girl Katie brought a block  up to a friends weekend in Canandaigua Lake in October and I’ve been obsessed with it ever since.

laguiole cheese board

^ How adorable is this cheeseboard? It marks the geographic locations of where certain French cheeses come from (Roquefort, Brie, Reblochon to name a few).  You can place your favorite cheeses next to their place of origin- so neat!

Now let’s make some snacks!

Cheese plate fixings:

Comté cheese
Apple cranberry chutney (I used this), cran-apple butter (Trader Joe’s is amazing) or preserves
Walnuts, toasted
Your favorite crackers

So good. Although next time I buy this cheese, I’m going to try it with a fig jam/spread as well.

compte

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P.S. I’ve been shy and reluctant to use descriptive adjectives (complex, bold, nutty, etc) when describing things like cheese and wine  because it makes me want to give myself a wedgie for sounding pretentious. But dammit, those adjectives are CORRECT.  This cheese is complex and nutty! So for future cheese posts, just know that I know I sound like an asshole- and I will take that risk if it means being an accurate asshole.

The ultimate:

 

 

Apricot Cherry Almond Scones

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I know- kind of a weird combo of ingredients, but IT WORKS.  The mild sweetness of the cherries blends so well with the tart, bright apricots, and the almonds add a lovely texture to the two fruits. This time of year is the absolute best. We are in the midst of baked goods weather, my friends, so might as well have fun with it and make some interesting concoctions- both within and outside of the pumpkin spice realm.

Ingredients:

2 cups all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
5 tablespoons chilled butter, cut into small pieces
1/2 cup fat-free milk
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 large egg white
1/2 cup dried cherries, diced
1/2 cup fresh apricot, peeled and sliced into 1″ pieces
1/3 cup slivered almonds
Directions:

Preheat oven to 425°. Dice apricot and set aside.  Your apricot should be firm but slightly ripe.  Dice dried cherries into small pieces, roughly the size of currants  (I wish I had done this! I had whole dried cherries in mine and they were excellent but a little overpowering). Combine flour, 3 tablespoons granulated sugar, baking powder, and salt in a bowl; stir with a whisk. Cut in butter with a pastry blender or 2 knives until mixture resembles coarse meal.

Combine 1/2 cup milk, vanilla, and egg white in a bowl. Add milk mixture to flour mixture, stirring just until moist (dough will be soft). Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Add almonds, cherries and nectarines. Kneed dough until everything is incorporated.

Pat dough into an 8-inch circle on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Cut dough into 12 wedges. Bake at 425° for 16-17 minutes or until golden. Serve warm, or cool on a wire rack.

Basic scone recipe: MyRecipes

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These scones with coffee make the mornings feel a little more cozy in these chilly times. Plus, they keep for over a week so you can enjoy them for breakfast, brunch or a snack long after you make them. Yay.

Last weekend I watched the best movie called In A World written by and starring Lake Bell. It was super bright and charming and I highly recommend it.  My mom told me to check it out describing it as “a lighter, more levelheaded version of Tiny Furniture” I didn’t know whether I should be impressed that my mom actively sought out good movies on Netflix or mildly disturbed that my mom has seen Tiny Furniture.  But yeah, if you have Netflix, you need to watch this movie.

The song below played during a cute scene of In A World.  I’m not ashamed to admit I have a tiny soft spot for 70s adult contemporary (Jackson Browne, etc) and this is no exception: