Almond and Cherry Crumble and… Petit Suisse Part Deux


A couple of weeks ago, I professed my love for petit suisse right here in this blog. I promised you that I would be back with more and my attempt to make them at home. Well here I am, not triumphant, as I had presumed. Let me explain.

I had been searching for a petit suisse recipe for a long time but had not been very successful. Finally a few days ago, I did find a recipe to make fromage frais. This recipe indicated that this was also the method to make petit suisse and since the ingredients were easy to find and the method seemed fairly uncomplicated, I decided to go for it.

There is something about making cheese, yogurt or bread at home that is very rewarding to me. Almost spiritual. Maybe because bacteria and yeast are living organisms that really require attention and depending on the hands of the person handling it, the results can be quite different. I like that. I like inconsistency, I like little flaws, I like the imperfection. Of course nowadays, there are machines that control all variables of the fermenting process resulting in a consistent product everytime, which is necessary in commercial production, but I still find the process of making it myself very rewarding.

So the resulting cheese was basically plain unsalted, fromage frais. Very, very good flavor and texture but it was not petit suisse. I tried to research more about the petit suisse method and learned that heavy cream is added after the curd has formed. It was unclear to me how I was supposed to proceed after that. So if any of you know the answer, please… I need you!



Cherries from California also showed up at Whole Foods which has made my week. I have been eating cherries all day long. They are as addicting as sunflower seeds. I cannot stop. Here is a little crumble I made for dessert a couple of nights ago. I topped it with a little bit of the fromage blanc and it was delicious.

Fromage Blanc

Yields about 200 grams of final product

2 liters organic whole milk
30 ml organic cultured buttermilk
1/8 tablet of rennet
30 ml water

Sterilize a large pot by covering and boiling a small amount of water in it for 5 minutes prior to use. Pour in the fresh milk, then the buttermilk. Warm up stirring to a final temperature of 65°F. Meanwhile, dissolve rennet in 30 ml of cool water. Stir dissolved rennet into heated milk. Stir well to blend thoroughly. Cover and let sit undisturbed overnight at room temperature.

The next morning, a soft curd should have formed; if not, let it sit until it does form which could take up to an additional 12 hours (mine was done overnight). When the curd is adequately formed, cut it into 1/2 inch cubes. Ladle cut curds into clean sterile cheesecloth suspended in a large strainer or stainless steel colander. Pour remaining whey through the cloth.

The next day, open the cloth to reveal the cheese. I spooned it into ring molds but any cleaned yogurt container can be used to store it. I covered mine with a damp paper towel so the top doesn’t dry out.

Almond Crumble

100 grams unsalted butter
100 grams sugar
100 grams flour
125 grams almond flour

Cream all ingredients together in an electric mixer. It will be crumbly. Place on a cookie sheet or in an air tight container and refrigerate over night. I normally make a large batch and freeze it and then I bake what I need.

Cherry Filling

200 grams pitted cherries
25 grams flour
30 grams sugar (depends on the sweetness of the fruit)
1 tsp almond extract
1/2 vanilla bean, split

Combine all ingredients in a bowl. Divide filling into four ramekins and sprinkle with a generous amount of crumble. Bake in a 350F oven. Cover the ramekins with aluminum foil for the first 10-15 minutes, then let them finish baking for another 15 minutes or until crumble is golden brown.



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42 Responses to “Almond and Cherry Crumble and… Petit Suisse Part Deux”

  1. Peabody says:

    I love the idea of the Fomage Blanc with the crisp…good flavor combo.

  2. Esti says:

    alucino con cada cosa que haces! Y cada d�a!! ;)

  3. nadia says:

    I have a post on how I would like to make cheese! Aran the photographs are amazing, i am in love with last one on the left…

  4. Bakerette says:

    Looks amazing! Wish I could make it but I don’t think I will find rennet…I love the photos..

  5. Anonymous says:

    Aran, fantástico, justo estaba buscando alguna receta con cerezas, pues mi padre me trajo de las suyas y queria hacer alguna cosa diferente. Como siempre las recetas y las fotos són increibles. Voy a ver si te encuentro la respuesta del petit suisse.
    A reveure, tu fan catalana
    Anna

  6. Aran says:

    Peabody- thank you, it is quite good a little sour, a little sweet, crunchy, creamy…

    Esti- Es que estoy obsesionada… pero ademas esto por ejemplo no lleva nada de tiempo. No me imagino no poder crear de esta manera.

    Nadia- I want to read that post! Can you send me the link please?

    Bakerette- I would send you some rennet but it needs to be refrigerated… are you sure you cannot find any? maybe online?

    Anna- muchas gracias por tus comentarios. a veces no contesto pq tengo poco tiempo pero quiero que sepas que leo todos los comentarios y los agradezco de verdad. que suerte que tu padre tiene cerezas!!!

  7. Astrid says:

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  8. Astrid says:

    Making your own cheese, what a fun project! Your fresh cheese and crumble combination sounds delicious.

  9. C.L. says:

    Pardon my ignorance but what is Rennet? I would love to try and make the formage blanc! What fun! The photos are beautiful and the recipe looks devine….I love the photo with your cat :)

  10. Aran says:

    Astrid- i want to learn more about making cheese, it is so much fun!

    Carrie- Rennet is the enzyme that is used to coagulate milk, resulting in curd and whey. The curd is what is turned to cheese later. Rennet is made in laboratories now but in the old times and I still remember this, rennet used to come from the stomach lining in sheep and other animals. I know it might sound strange to some “city” ears but trust me, it is the most natural process. When we were kids, my dad used to take us up to Gorbea which is the highest mountain in our area. He new a sheep herder there who used to make cheese. I loved visiting him. he had a small shack with really old wood shelves lined with ripening cheese. Priceless experience!

    i would love for you guys to try making it at home. It really is super easy.

    here’s the link for Junket rennet http://www.junketdesserts.com/rennettablets.aspx

  11. What a fun project to make cheese, something I have never attempted! Gorgeous photos, and I love your cat!

  12. C.L. says:

    Thank you so much Aran for the quick response. I will put this on my list for sure!

  13. Y says:

    Unfortunately I’ve never had petit suisse before, so can’t help you with that. Have had fromage frais before though, and yours looks great! I’ve always wanted to make cheese too – even thought about signing up for a course :)
    Californian cherries are popping up over here as well. Even though they look great, I can’t bring myself to buy them, because, you know.. food miles, food miles!

  14. I’ve always thought about making my own cheese but never gotten to the task. Although you didn’t get to the cheese you hoped for, what you did make is really pretty and sounds delicious.

    Where did you buy the rennet? Can you get it at a butcher’s shop?

  15. Gloria says:

    This a really lovely Aran, how all you make, I love soo!! Gloria

  16. Aran says:

    Dana- i got the rennet at whole foods but you can get it online too.
    http://www.junketdesserts.com/rennettablets.aspx

  17. I have been in cherry heaven too! What a great way to put them in a dessert…love it!

  18. Cakespy says:

    Oh Aran, this is not a dessert, it is a love ballad! I made cheese with my mother many years ago and agree, there’s just something about it. Of course, yours looks like a zillion times better than ours. And combining with those absolutely lush looking cherries…half swoon, half yum.

  19. linda says:

    while reading your post I remembered I had a cute little French book called: je fais des fromages. Unfortunately no recipe for petit suisse.
    I love cherries so much, when we get a house with a garden I’m planting a tree!
    Delicious crumble!

  20. Tartelette says:

    Ah Petit Suisse! The dessert from my childhood too! I just took my family to the grocery store and their jaws dropped when I told them we did not have fromage blanc. I got close to petit suisse texture once but now of course I can’t remember how since it was b accident!! We should make it a eekend project!!
    The crumble is lovely with the fromage.

  21. Warda says:

    J’adoooooooooore les petits suisses. Too bad I can’t find them here in the states. My grandfather and I used to invert four of them into our mugs, add sugar, stir, and enjoy. Your fromage blanc sounds divine, too. Must try it very soon. It reminds me of the one my mother makes. Love your blog already. Bisous.

  22. Mobula says:

    Asi que elrennet es el cuajo que se le pone a la leche, pero es líquido o en polvo????

    Otra cosa, tengo un monton de cereza y aparte de mermelada me gustaría hacerlas en almibar, como las griottines, sabes de alguna recetilla???

    El crumble, delicioso como siempre!!!

  23. Eileen says:

    Very, very nice.

    Eileen (passions to pastry)
    http://www.livingtastefully.com

  24. Fantastic! These are just gorgeous. I can’t wait to try this recipe.

  25. Oh…those flavors are so perfect together! I’m getting brave enough to start trying to make yogurt and cheese at home. You are inspiring me!

  26. wonderful, and you made the cheese yourself!!

  27. Suzana says:

    Super! You’ve made such a wonderful fromage frais!! I can’t picture my life without that… I’m still stunned with the beautiful photos…

  28. vegeyum says:

    Oh, I have to try this! I have linked you in to my recent post on making creme fraiche.

  29. PheMom says:

    I still haven’t tried making cheese yet, but I do want to give it a go soon. This looks wonderful! Good luck on your quest!

  30. The fromage looks so wonderful! I make my own yogurt a lot, but have never attempted cheese. I must try this. I found beautiful, juicy cherries in my market over here too. I’ve been munching on them nonstop since yesterday.

    Aran, don’t you worry about recapping awards and commenting on all the blogs. It took me a month to put my post together! I find myself in the same position of having a hectic schedule lately as well. You can’t drive yourself crazy. Everyone understands that. I come visit whenever I can because I love what you do-no strings attached. :)

  31. Mrs.French says:

    I am so amazed by your talent. Cheese! Goodness gracious…oh and I will take a serving of that beautiful crumble with extra cherries please!!!

  32. さくら says:

    This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  33. Hillary says:

    Looks absolutely delicious! I can’t wait for cherries to pop up in my Whole Foods! :)

  34. Jenni says:

    I also love petit suisse and happened to find it today at Whole Foods in my area. It has not always been there, so you should ask your Whole Foods to carry it. It is such a delicacy esp. at $6.99 a pop! The chocolate flavor is $8.99, but worth every bit. I always say I am buying it for the kids, but I end up eating it all! I love your blog and found it through Lindsey.

  35. Ana says:

    Me sorprendes cada vez que entro en tu blog, deliciosas recetas y fotografías siempre.
    Un abrazo.
    Ana

  36. nicole says:

    “There is something about making cheese, yogurt or bread at home that is very rewarding to me. Almost spiritual.” I love that. I’ve been wanting to take a cheese-making class. This all looks fantastic.

  37. I agree about the making cheese, bread, yogurt at home thingy…very therapeutic & rewarding! This post is beautiful, evocative & delicious!

  38. That looks so good. I love the idea of making cheese at home!

  39. Chuck says:

    I wish I could help. But, I have never made cheese in my life. It’s something I would like to give a try. I have to say your photos are stunning.

  40. Laetitia says:

    Hmmmm Petit Suisse… I MUST check to see if my Central Market or Whole Food carries it. I really miss that from home (France). Can’t wait to try it!

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