The Fontainebleau is a dairy specialty of the ile-de-France. It dates from the end of the the 18th century. Light and delicious, it can be served either as a cheese or as a dessert. It is usually accompanied by fruit or berries. Serve it on a large plate surrounded by fruit, or individually in a sauce dish, cup or glass. This recipe is adapted from a recipe by Susan Herrmann Loomis. —Gretchen Goehrend
castor (superfine) sugar
large egg whites
fine sea salt
strawberries (stemmed and thickly sliced)*
caster (superfine) sugar
orange flower water
*You may add or substitute other fruits and berries
In This Recipe
In a large mixing bowl, combine the yogurt and all but 2 tablespoons of the sugar.
In a second bowl, whip the cream until it is stiff and fold it into the yogurt mixture.
In yet another bowl, whip the egg whites with the fine salt until stiff, add the reserved 2 tablespoons sugar, whip until glossy, about another 20 seconds. Gently fold the egg whites into the yogurt cream mixture.
Transfer the mixture to a 6-cup cheesecloth-lined perforated mold. In absence of a mold, use a strainer. Cover the mold or strainer with a cloth and place it in a larger bowl in the refrigerator to drain for 24 hours. Drain off the liquid collected in the bowl from time to time.
The mixture should become fairly firm and dry, almost like a whipped cream cheese. Keep refrigerated until ready to serve.
Fifteen minutes before serving, place the strawberries and/or other fruit, into a shallow bowl, sprinkle them with a tablespoon of castor sugar and toss.
To serve, untold the fontainebleau onto a platter and carefully remove the cheese cloth. Drizzle the fruit with orange flower water, toss, and spoon around the fontainebleau. Or spoon the fontainebleau into individual dishes or cups, and top with the fruit and/or berries.