French Fun

Get your hands in the curd with this two-day workshop where we explore some classic French-style cheeses, including but not limited to camembert, chaorce, tomme, banon, epoisses, chevre. As Charles de Gaulle once famously said: “How can anyone govern a nation that has two hundred and forty-six different kinds of cheese?”, so there is no one cheese that represents France. We’ll explore the different regions of French cheesemaking, and how some of those cheeses came to be. We’ll also discuss milk chemistry, rennet, and the use of starter cultures, and affinage.

Feb 28 & March 1
Fee: $300
$575/couple or 2 family members (one set of notes)

See our Workshop page for details. Download Workshop Registration Form

Goat Cheese 101

Learn the basics of goat cheese. We will make chevre (a french style of fresh goat cheese), and many of its variations, as well as feta and a quick mozzarella and ricotta. We’ll discuss how goat milk is different from other milks, and why certain cheeses are better made with goat milk. Do you have goats and want to make cheese? Are you thinking of getting goats? Meet the goats and decide for yourself! Please note: During the winter months, we may need to use cow’s milk instead of goat’s milk, as our goats will be dry, but we will be teaching the same basic skill set and styles of cheeses that you would use with goat milk.

February 17 
March 16
 April 12
Fee: $150 a day

See our Workshop page for details. Download Workshop Registration Form

Roasted Red Pepper, Baby Spinach & Goat Cheese Sandwiches

•   2 cups baby spinach leaves (2 oz.)
•   3 tbsp. raspberry vinaigrette
•   4 slices dark wheat or whole grain bread
•   2 drained roasted red peppers, cut into strips (2 oz.)
•   1 oz. goat cheese
•   2 tbsp. thinly sliced green onions

1. TOSS together spinach and vinaigrette. Arrange spinach mixture on 2 slices bread.
2. TOP with red peppers, cheese, green onions and remaining bread.

Serves 2

Chocolate-Hazelnut and Goat Cheese Melt

Makes four sandwiches

8 tablespoons (about 1/2 cup) Nutella (or other hazelnut-chocolate spread)
4 ounces Appleton Creamery Classic Plain goat cheese, at room temperature
8 slices country white bread (1/4 inch thick)
2 tablespoons butter, at room temperature

In a small bowl, stir the Nutella and cheese together.

To assemble: Butter one side each slice of bread. Place four slices on your work surface, buttered side down. Spread the cheese mixture evenly over the four slices so that it is about 1/4 inch thick (if it’s any thicker, the sandwich will be too gooey). Place the remaining four bread slices on top, buttered side up. Cut off the crusts (this helps pinch the bread together to create a tight seal).

Stovetop method: Heat a large, nonstick skillet over medium heat for two minutes. Put the sandwiches in the skillet (in batches if necessary), cover and cook for two minutes or until the undersides are golden brown and the cheese has begun to soften. Uncover and turn the sandwiches with a spatula. Cook for one minute or until the undersides are golden brown. Turn the sandwiches again and cook for 30 seconds, or until the cheese is soft and creamy. Serve immediately.

adapted from

Ricotta Jam Tart with Almond Crust


1 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup toasted almonds
3 tablespoons sugar
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, cold
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
cold water

Grease a 9 inch tart pan with a removable bottom. In the bowl of the food processor, mix together the flour, almonds and sugar. Pulse until fine. Add the butter, pulsing briefly until it is worked into the flour and is the size of small peas. Add the egg, extract and a tablespoon of cold water, pulsing only long enough to make clumps and the dough sticks together. Add more cold water if necessary. Gather the dough into a ball.
Fit the dough into the tart pan, pressing into place. Chill for at least 1 and up to 12 hours.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Prick the inside of the crust with the tines of a fork. Bake for 15 minutes, check for bubbling and prick again with the tines of a fork if necessary. Bake for another 10 minutes, or until golden brown. Cool on a rack.


1/2 cup Appleton Creamery sheep’s milk ricotta
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 tablespoons sugar or more or less to taste
1/3 cup whipping cream or 1/2 cup Marscapone)
1 1/2 cups softened jam (soft plum, Damson plum, fruit of your choice)
mint leaves for garnish
Whip the cream until it forms soft peaks. Puree the ricotta in the bowl of the food processor with the vanilla and sugar. Fold in the whipped cream( or marscapone). If desired, sweeten more to taste.
Spoon the filling into the tart shell. Spread the jam over the top and garnish with fresh mint leaves. Serve at room temperature

CHERYL’S NOTES: This recipe is has its source in Lynne Rossetto Kasper’s book, “The Italian Country Table.” For several years I have been making her Soft Plum Jam from my green gage plum harvest, and drooling over this tart recipe. Kasper notes, the key to this tart is the ricotta, and she says to be sure to get an artisan, not a factory, product or you will be sorely disappointed! I am so excited that Appleton Creamery is making ricotta, now I can prepare this delicious tart!!
The tart is best eaten right after it is filled. The baked shell can be stored wrapped in plastic in the refrigerator for several days

Goat Cheese Mousse with Mint Pesto

Serves 4

For Mint Pesto
2 C loosley packed mint leaves
3 oz. freshly grated parmesan cheese
1/4 C pine nuts (seasoned and toasted)
1/2 C olive oil

For Goat Cheese Mousse
8 oz. Appleton Creamery plain goat cheese
3/4 C lightly whipped heavy cream

Mint leaf for ganish
Crudites and slices of fresh baked bread as an accompaniment

Make the pesto: Combine the mint, parmesan and pine nuts in the food processor and process until finely chopped. With motor running, add olive oil, blending until smooth.

Make the goat cheese mousse: Process the goat cheese in the cleaned processor until smooth. Add the whipped cream and blend just until incorporated.

Spoon the pesto in the center of a platter. Place the mousse directly on top of the pesto so that you just see the green pesto oil around the perimeter of the mousse. Serve with the crudities and bread slices.