Flower Marie is a sweet little ewes’ milk cheese. We picked this one up in Totnes, but it’s not exactly a local cheese. It’s made by Kevin and Alison Blunt of Golden Cross cheese in East Sussex. I seem to remember it was often hard to get hold of when we had the cheese shop a few years ago. But that might be just seasonality, as unlike cows, sheep and goats don’t lactate all year.
The sheep’s milk the Blunts use is bought in from a flock of Friesland-Dorset sheep on a farm in Essex. The Blunts also make goats’ cheeses from their own goats on their farm near Lewes, where they keep British Saanen, Alpine and Toggenburg.
Kevin and Alison started making goats cheese in 1979, so they’ve had a bit of practice by now. Apparently the recipe for their ewes’ milk Flower Marie was given to them by revered cheesemaker James Aldridge, who led the revival of specialist British cheese making in the 80’s.
Flower Marie has won many prizes. It’s unpasteurised, as most good cheeses are, and made from veggie rennet. So it’s perfect to go alongside the vegetarian barbecue recipes.
The taste is sweet, subtle, and carmamelly; the cheese has a white rind.
Here Tim wrapped the cheese in a little surrounding blanket of puff pastry, and covered it in a layer of fresh blueberries. The blueberries’ sharpness is a perfect foil for the unctiousness of the cheese. A little grated lemon rind helps, too.
Bake at 180 C for 12-15 mins in a preheated oven.