These cheese pastries are traditionally served with Pinot noir, originating in Burgundy. The following recipe comes from Gourmet’s Menu Cookbook. There is a similar recipe, but without the addition of placing a second gougère on top of the first (see The Silver Palate, first publication.)
Scald 2 cups milk and cool it. Strain milk into large saucepan and add ½ cup butter, cut up, 2½ teaspoons salt, and a dash of freshly ground black pepper. Bring mixture to a rolling boil and add all at once 2 cups all purpose flour, sifted. Cook the paste over low heat, beating it briskly with a wooden spoon, until the mixture forms a ball and leaves the sides of the pan clean. Remove pan from heat and beat in 8 eggs, one at a time, incorporating each egg thoroughly before adding the next. When the paste is shiny and smooth mix in 6 ounces natural Gruyère cheese cut in very fine pieces. Let the dough cool.
Divide dough in half. With an oval soup spoon scoop out from one half of the dough pieces the size of an egg. With a rubber spatula push them off the spoon onto a buttered baking sheet, spaced 1 inch apart. Use a teaspoon to make smaller ovals, and place on top of the first layer. Repeat until all dough is used. Press top rounds very gently into base round. Brush with milk. (Optional: sprinkle each puff with grated parmesan).
Bake in a moderately hot oven (375 degrees) for 20 minutes or so, until they are well puffed and golden brown. They will deflate a bit as they sit, but no one minds. They are just so good as an appetizer with Pinot noir.
About 25 – 30 puffs
Note: Choose French Gruyère, and avoid the semi-processed Swiss options.
Serve with either the 2006 Pinot Noir Casteel Reserve or the 2006 Pinot Noir Jessie James Vineyard that are part of your selection this month! They really are fabulous!