Fromage fort is a beautifully transformative way to use up the scraps of all those expensive cheeses that are crammed in the fridge. It’s a classic, frugal, and flavorful French technique shared here by Jacques Pepin.
What kind of cheeses are best for making fromage fort?
In Jacques Pepin’s house, he uses whatever is getting down to scraps. The beauty of fromage fort is that the melding of cheeses is aided by the addition of wine and spices. Think of this spread like a sparkling, delicate snowflake—you’ll probably never be able to replicate the same taste profile again. And that’s the beauty of it—experiment with all the possibilities in your cheese drawer. Bear in mind that a good mix of textures (hard and soft cheese) does make for a more interesting finished product.
Video: How to Make Jacques Pépin's Fromage FortVideo courtesy of KQED
- Quick Glance
- 10 M
- 10 M
- Serves 4
In the bowl of a food processor, combine the cheese pieces, garlic, white wine, and a big grinding of black pepper.
Process until the mixture is creamy but not too soft, 30 to 45 seconds, depending on the firmness of the cheese. Taste, and season with salt, if needed.
The fromage fort is ready to use now, either served cold, with crackers, or spread on bread and broiled for a few minutes. Broiling will brown the cheese and make it wonderfully fragrant. The fromage fort can also be frozen.
Recipe Testers' Reviews
This fromage fort is to cheese what guacamole is to avocados and banana bread is to bananas. I've been making this for years, usually in the aftermath of the annual "Cheesegiving" I have with my sister, and is a great way to use all the odds and ends of various cheeses in your fridge.
True to its name the flavor is very strong, but I wouldn't have it any other way. I have made it with just about every cheese out there and am a strong believer in balance: if I'm adding something soft like leftover brie, I'll balance it out with a firmer fontina or Swiss. I also believe it should have some form of blue cheese in it, though it will still be delicious without.
Basically, if you've had a cheese platter at a party and have mixed leftovers, this recipe is for you. It's excellent broiled on crostini (try dunking them in tomato soup or used as the "cheese" component on a grilled sandwich like a panini. I've always meant to try making a baked pasta (think the most epic mac and cheese ever), but it always gets eaten before extensive experimentation can commence.
What a simple and clever way to use up some bits of cheese in the fridge. This fromage fort really came together quite quickly, the hardest part was deciding which cheese to use. As I used equal parts blue cheese, gruyere, goat cheese and brie, there was a nice texture, however my blue cheese was quite strong, so the next batch will be only 1 oz of the blue, and I’ll kick up the gruyere a bit more.
It spreads nicely on bread (I used some homemade French bread) right out of the processor, and browns up quickly in the broiler, so keep an eye on it. It paired very nicely with a Rombauer Zinfandel we had opened.