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IMG_6065What is maroilles, you might ask?  I am glad you ask. Maroilles is a cow’s milk cheese made in the regions of Picardy and Nord Pas De Calais in northern France. It derives it’s name from the village of Maroilles in the region in which it is still made today. It is a semi-soft washed rind cheese, characterized by a pungent but ooh so good smell. The taste is soft and creamy with a nutty and tangy flavor. It usually has a square shape with a brick-red, smooth rind.
Maroilles was one of the oldest cheeses in the world! It was invented in the 10th century by a monk. It was noted as the preferred cheese of several French kings (Philip II, Louis IX, Charles VI and Francis I). Traditionally the farmers in the villages surrounding the Abbey of Maroilles were asked to convert their cow’s milk into young squares of Maroilles cheese every June 24, the day of Saint Jean Baptiste. On the following October 1, the feast of Saint Remi, the villagers would donate the aged cheeses to the Abbey and the monks would distribute them to the grape harvesters for lunch and dinner. October 1 is still known as Maroilles Day in the region.
It goes well with beer or champagne but can be tricky with red wine.
If you come across it – give it a go- it’s not often you get to eat a cheese that’s been around for more than 1100 years!

Serves 6


250 g / 2 cups flour
175 g / 13 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into cubes and chilled
300 g / 10 ounces Maroilles
150 g / 5 ounces fromage frais
2 large eggs
Salt & freshly ground black pepper


Firstly make the pastry (you can use pre-made pâte brisée)
Mix the flour with 125 g / 9 tablespoons butter with your fingers until the mixture is crumbly
Add 2 pinches of salt
Add just enough cold water to bring the pastry together, about 3 tablespoons
Roll out the pastry and line a 26 cm / 10 inch tart dish
Prick the base with a fork and place in the refrigerator
Preheat the oven to 210 C / 400 F
Remove the rind from the Maroilles and cut into small cubes
Mix the fromage frais with the beaten eggs
Add the Maroilles cubes to the egg mixture
Add salt and pepper
Pour this mixture into the tart base
Cook for about 20 minutes
Remove from the oven and add the rest of the butter cubes to the top
Return to the oven for about 10 minutes
Serve hot

 Drink with an amber beer


Tarte aux Maroilles

Pour 6 personnees


300 g de maroilles
150 g de fromage frais
2 gros oeufs
175 g de beurre
250 g de farine
Sel et poivre du moulin


Chauffez le four à 210 C
Préparez une pâte brisée avec la farine, 125 g de beurre en parcelles, deux pincées de sel et juste assez d’eau froide pour amalgamer la pâte. Abaissez-la et garnissez-en une tourtière de 26 cm de diametre. Piquez le fond et réservez au frais
Ecroutez le maroilles et coupez-le en petits dès
Mélangez-les avec le fromage frais, bien égoutté et les oeufs battus en omelette
Salez et poivrez
Versez ce mélange sur le fond de tarte et lissez le dessus
Faites cuire la tarte au fromage dans le four 20 minutes environ
Sortez la tarte du four et ajoutez le reste de beurre (50 g) coupé en petits dès sur le dessus
Remettez la tarte dans le four et poursuivez la cuisson une dizaine de minutes
Servez très chaud
Bon appétit!

Buvez avec une bière ambrée ou de garde