The sweet taste of spring


This is one of the first three words that come into my mind when I think about France, together with wine and romance (is there a woman who didn’t dream at least once about strolling along the Seine, holding hands with her loved one at sunset?).

Cheese is a very important element of the French cuisine and it has been served as dessert, accompanied by spiced wine and lumps of hardened honey, since the Middle Ages. No banquet among the aristocracy was complete without the “issue de table”, as dessert used to be called back then.

Today, “fromage” is part of the national French cuisine, which consists of three courses: appetizer, main course, cheese or dessert.  There are so many types of cheese that it’s very hard to choose from or identify most of them. During my last trip to Cherbourg I have actually bought some cheese in a special tiny shop and I was overwhelmed by the large selection (and the smell!).


France produces over 400 distinct types of cheese among which 53 are classified, protected and regulated under the French law. This means that the product is certified to be made in their place or origin using traditional production methods. This applies to different products like cheese, wine, ham, even to some spirits.

As an example, the Roquefort cheese was the first product to be protected by a parliamentary decree, all the way back in 1411! For a cheese to be called Roquefort it is necessary to be made from the milk of a specific type of sheep and then to be maturated in the natural caves just outside the town of Roquefort-sur-Souzlon, in the Aveyron region.

Two of the most famous French cheeses are Camembert and Brie.




Camembert is probably the most popular French cheese, known worldwide and produced in Normandy. It is a soft cheese, creamy, made with unpasteurized cow milk. It has been first made in 1791 by a farmer from Normandy who followed the advice of a priest from Brie region.

Camembert takes about 3 weeks to ripen, before being wrapped in paper and placed in wooden boxes. A ripe Camembert is soft on the inside, covered with a white crust which is eaten.

Camembert has deep roots into the French culture. It has been mentioned in the literature many times by famous writers like Marcel Proust, Emile Zola or Pierre Chaine, but also in art by Salvador Dali. Camembert also has its role in history, as part of the iron rations given to the French soldiers in the World War 1 but also as one of Napoleon’s favourite cheeses.




Brie is a soft cheese made out of cow’s milk, coming from the department of Seine-et-Marne, the old Brie region where it originated. It is produced with whole or semi-skimmed milk and aged for at least four to five weeks. To make the variety of Brie Noir which French people enjoy having for breakfast with their coffee, the cheese is matured for up to a year until it becomes crumbly and dark colored.

There are two main varieties of Brie, certified by the French government, and these are: Brie de Meaux and Brie de Melun. They both come with a white soft crust which is eaten, but Brie de Melun tends to have a stronger flavour and a more pungent smell. The Brie de Meaux dates since the 8th century and it used to be known under the name of “Kinds Cheese” because of its popularity on the nobility’s tables.


After I’ve published my article about the best dishes to try while visiting Cherbourg, Le Rustique has sent me a selection of their Camembert and Brie challenging me to recreate their suggested recipes developed together with food blogger Lavender & Lovage. Celebrating spring, the recipes combine the creamy textures of the Le Rustique Camembert and Le Rustique Brie de Caractère with the sweet taste of honey.

So while I am enjoying a Camembert and hazelnuts parcel with fruits and honey chutney, I will share below the other recipes with you.


5 from 6 votes

Le Rustique Camembert and Apple Scones with Honey Butter

Delectable Le Rustique Camembert and Apple Scones are on the table in less than half an hour and are perfect when served with honey butter. Why not also serve as part of an afternoon tea or as an accompaniment to soups, stews or casseroles, or even as part of a “Ploughman’s Lunch”.
Course Appetizer
Cuisine French
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 9 minutes
Total Time 34 minutes
Servings 4


Honey butter:

  • 5 tbsp runny honey flower or lavender honey
  • 150 g unsalted butter


  • 450 g self-raising flour
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 100 g butter cut into small pieces
  • 100 g Le Rustique Camembert diced
  • 1 small apple peeled, cored and very finely diced or grated
  • 300 ml milk mixed with 1 large beated egg
  • poppy seeds


  1. To make the honey butter: beat the honey and the butter with a hand-held electric whisk until light and fluffy. Set to one side until needed.

  2. Pre-heat oven to 220C/450F/Gas mark 7 and line a baking sheet with baking paper.
  3. Sift the flour, baking powder and salt together and then rub in the butter until it resembles bread crumbs.
  4. Stir in the Le Rustique Camembert and apple and add just enough of the milk and egg mixture to make a soft dough, it should not be too sticky. Reserve the remaining milk and egg mixture for the glaze.
  5. Gather into a ball and place in a floured work surface; roll out gently to a thickness of about 2cm and stamp out the scones with a 5cm scone cutter. Gather together all the offcuts and continue to stamp out scones until all the dough is used up.
  6. Place the scones onto the prepared baking sheet and brush them with the egg and milk mixture before scattering some poppy seeds over the top.
  7. Bake in the pre-heated oven for 10 to 12 minutes, or until they are well risen and golden brown.
  8. Cool for a few minutes on a wire rack before serving warm with the honey butter.
5 from 6 votes

Le Rustique Camembert and Hazelnut Parcels with Quick Fruit and Honey Chutney

Using ready-made puff pastry means that these delicious Le Rustique Camembert and Hazelnut Parcels are perfect for an easy mid-week family supper, or for a lazy Saturday lunch. Shallots and hazelnuts are gently fried in a little olive oil for a tasty twist to compliment the Camembert; the fruit and honey chutney is the final “pièce de résistance” for these flaky cheese pies, which cuts through the richness of the filling.
Course Main Course
Cuisine French
Prep Time 1 hour
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Servings 4 parcels


Fruit and Honey Chutney

  • 500 g apples and pears cored and finely diced
  • 1 onion peeled and finely diced
  • 50 g sultanas
  • 1/2 tsp mixed spice
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 120 ml runny honey Acacia
  • 150 ml cider vinegar


  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 40 g hazelnuts crushed
  • 2-3 shallots peeled and finely diced
  • 500 g block ready-made puff pastry
  • 250 g Le Rustique Camembert cut into 4 pieces
  • 4 sprigs fresh rosemary
  • 1 egg beaten


  1. To make the chutney: place all the ingredients into a large saucepan and simmer over a medium to low heat for about 30 to 45 minutes, until the fruit is cooked and there is no liquid left – stirring all the time. Set to one side to cool and thicken once cooked.
  2. Heat the olive oil in a frying pan and add the crushed hazelnuts and the shallots/onion; fry them over a medium heat until the shallots/onion are soft and the nuts are toasted. Set to one side.
  3. Pre-heat oven to 220C/450F/Gas mark 7 and line a baking sheet with baking paper.
  4. Cut the pastry block into 4 and place them on a floured work surface, roll each piece out into a square, about 15cm x 15cm. Divide the hazelnut and shallots/onion mixture between the 4 pastry squares.
  5. Cut Le Rustique Camembert into thick slices and place on top of the mixture and then bring the corners up to the middle of the parcel, securing the pastry in the middle with the fresh rosemary sprigs. Place the parcels on the prepared baking sheet.
  6. Brush the beaten egg over the tops of the parcels and bake for 12 to 15 minutes, until the pastry has risen and the parcels are golden brown.
  7. Serve immediately with the fruit and honey chutney, and salad for a light luncheon or supper dish.
5 from 6 votes

Le Rustique Camembert “Scotch Eggs” Two Ways with Honey and Mustard Dip

These delicious “Scotch Eggs” hide a cheesy secret inside! Two delicious flavours, herby pork sausage meat and black pudding, each wrapped around a cube of Le Rustique Camembert which after being deep-fried ooze seductively. Dunk these into a tangy, sweet honey and mustard dip for a truly cheesy treat.
Course Appetizer
Cuisine French
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 12 pieces


“Scotch Eggs”

  • x6 (400g) high meat content herb pork sausages skinned
  • x6 (400g) black puddings skinned
  • 250 g Le Rustique Camembert cut into 12 cubes
  • 2 eggs beaten
  • 50-70 g fine bread crumbs

To fry

  • Vegetable oil for frying


  • 125 ml runny honey Flower honey
  • 2 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 tbsp olive oil


  1. Take each sausage or black pudding and flatten them out into a large thin round; place Le Rustique Camembert cube into the middle and bring the sides up to completely cover the cheese, making sure there are no gaps or holes in the sausage or black pudding. Gently shape them into an egg shape in the palm of your hand.
  2. Dip the “Scotch Egg” into the beaten egg and then cover it with the bread crumbs; set to one side on a plate whilst you make the rest.
  3. Fill a wok or a deep-frying pan to about 10cms in depth with vegetable oil and then heat it until smoking hot; add 3 to 4 “Scotch Eggs”, do not overcrowd the pan, and cook over a medium heat for about 4 minutes, turning them over half way through cooking. If they start to brown too quickly, turn the heat down slightly.
  4. Once they are cooked, drain them and keep them warm whilst you cook the remaining ones.
  5. To make the dip: whisk the honey, mustard and olive oil together to form an emulsified dip.
  6. Serve immediately with the honey and mustard dip.
5 from 6 votes

Le Rustique Brie Tartlets with Honey Onion Relish

These gorgeous little Le Rustique Brie tartlets use rounds of bread in place of pastry and are so easy to make. Tangy honey onion relish adds a lovely depth to the crisp cases and melted cheese, before they are dressed to serve with chopped chives for the final flourish. The honey onion relish can be made ahead of time and keeps in the fridge for up to two weeks.
Course Appetizer
Cuisine French
Prep Time 45 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes
Servings 12 small tartlets


Honey Onion Relish

  • 50 g butter
  • 2 red onions peeled and diced
  • 2 tbsp runny honey Acacia
  • 1 tbsp red wine viegar


  • 12 slices Brown bread
  • 50 g softened butter
  • 100-120 g Le Rustique Brie de Caractère cut into 12 pieces
  • Chopped fresh chives


  1. To make the honey onion relish: melt the butter in a pan and add the onions; sauté the onions for 4 to 5 minutes and then add the remaining ingredients. Simmer, stirring all the time to stop it sticking, for 20 to 30 minutes until it is thick. Cool and set to one side until needed.
  2. Pre-heat oven to 200C/400F/Gas mark 6.
  3. Using a 5cm to 6cm cutter, stamp out 12 circles from the sliced bread, and butter them on one side only. Place the buttered sides down into a 12-hole bun-tin, pressing them to create a tartlet shape.
  4. Add a teaspoon of honey onion relish into each bread tartlet base, and then place the pieces of Le Rustique Brie de Caractère on top.
  5. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes until the cheese has melted and the bottom of the bread tartlet bases are crispy and golden brown.
  6. Gently ease them out of the tray and sprinkle chopped fresh chives over them before serving.


Disclaimer: Please note that I received a Le Rustique cheese hamper for free to create the recipes with. However, all comments and opinions in this article are my own.

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40 thoughts on “The sweet taste of spring

  1. Becca Talbot says:

    I absolutely adore Brie, so those tartlets would definitely be my choice from the above recipes. The best part is that the recipe looks and sounds really easy to follow, so I’ll have to give them a try x

  2. Nicole P says:

    I always get excited when it comes to cheese. For some reason, smelling and having a bite of feta especially while cooking something makes me relax… Also adding cheese in a particular dish can really add more flavor, and I’m curious about your recipe on rustic Camembert scotch eggs.

    On another note, I just found out that there’s a cheesemaker who made a kind of cheese and named it after an old flame, Rachel.

  3. My Travelogue by Bhushavali says:

    I love cheese and I always try out the various types of Cheese much to the dismay of my guy who hates it! Lolz!
    Love the cheese based recipes. Long back I made a simple pizza with 3 types of cheese in it, for a romantic evening!
    I’ve tried Brie and loved it! Yet to try Camembert!

  4. Stefinia says:

    Now I know one of the best places to get cheese is France(: … I love cheese cakes most. Nice cooking instructions on making Le Rustique Camembert and Apple Scones with Honey Butter as well(:

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