31 August 2011

Jarlsberg, Onion & Mushroom Tart – Recipe

Jarlsberg cheese is one of Norway's most famous export products, and it's enjoyed across the country. Although this cheese dates back to the 1850's it wasn't until the 1950's that today's familiar yellow wax-covered cheese was created. Jarlsberg is quite similar to Emmenthal or Comté, with mild sweet nutty notes to it and it's great to use in cooking.

I love a good tart and here's a really simple recipe for one that showcases the flavour of Jarlsberg. It makes a decent lunch or late supper and is great washed down with plenty of Belgian-style Wit beer.
I used Jarlsberg XO cheese, which has been aged for 15 months, giving it a more concentrated and mature flavour. I also used red onions from Holm Farm in Kvelde, around 120km south of Oslo. These "Edel" onions are sweet and mild with an aromatic taste that doesn't overwhelm the dish. Now that we're in the middle of the chanterelle season here, I'd definitely use those instead of chestnut mushrooms if you can. Finally, I used ready-made puff pastry as, frankly, life's too short to be making your own from scratch. But if you have the time then you can find a decent recipe here.
Ingredients (serves 4-6)
  • 4 medium red onions, sliced
  • 50g butter
  • 300g mushrooms
  • a palmful of thyme leaves
  • 100g crème fraîche
  • 300g puff pastry
  • 150g Jarlsberg cheese, grated
  • Salt & pepper
  1. Add half the butter to a frying pan and gently cook the onions over a low-medium heat for 15-20 minutes until soft and the edges have just started to caramelise
  2. Add mushrooms and the rest of the butter and continue to cook for a further 10 minutes
  3. Add the crème fraîche and thyme, stirring it in well, turn up the heat slightly and let it bubble for about 5 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  4. Line a baking dish with puff pastry and pour in the onion and mushroom mix
  5. Sprinkle over the grated cheese and bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes at 200°C
  6. Serve with a crisp green salad and maybe some crusty white bread


  1. That looks so nice, and it's vegetarian to boot so can be added to my new "trying to eat more vegetarian food" regime! Forgot to mention we went to that Italian restaurant when we were in Oslo, it was excellent, so thanks for that tip! Emma :)

  2. JarlsbergUsa has it's place and you have found it gloriously! GREG

  3. Thanks for the inspiration! I made a similar tart with what I had on hand: marjoram, smoked gouda cheese, and sour cream instead of the thyme, Jarlsberg, and creme fraiche. Everyone loved it! Costco here in Washington State has Jarlsberg for a very good price but they have it packaged in 2# blocks, too much for our household. I'll try it if I can find a friend to split it with me.