The tarte au maroilles, or better described as “the stinky cheese tart” as my brother-in-law has put it, is native to the north of France. Maroilles, pronounced “mar-wall”, but with a French accent, is a cow’s milk cheese from the town of the same name. To make it short and sweet, here is the best description I can think of: after a good affinage, it is a cheese that makes one realize the origins of the expression: “Who cut the cheese?” But its bark is worse than its bite, and it’s really a delicious cheese, especially melted and creamy in this classic tart recipe.

Serve with a simple salad and a refreshing gewurztraminer or pinot gris from Alsace as my mother and father-in-law do most Friday nights. Any refreshing little white wine will do, especially if you’re not picky about wine. If you prefer beer, go for a Belgian-style beer, preferably ambrée or blonde. A good cider would be yummy too.

the recipe for Micheline’s tarte au maroilles:
Serves 2 very hungry or 4 normally hungry people

  • 30 g butter
  • 1 egg
  • 20 – 40g fresh yeast
  • a bit of milk
  • a pinch of salt
  • flour
  • a third of a Maroilles

1. Melt the yeast in about a 1/3 cup of warm milk.
2. Melt the butter.
3. Mix the melted butter with the egg and add a pinch of salt.
4. Add the yeast and milk mixture.
5. Add some flour, mixing until you have a ball that is neither dry nor sticky.
6. Press the dough into a tart tin, cover with a kitchen towel, and leave to rise in a warm place for about 1 hour.
7. Slice the cheese and cover the tart.
8. Cook in preheated oven (about 375°F, or 190°C) for about 20 minutes, or until the cheese is melted, and has formed an inviting golden crust.
9. Serve hot.



  1. Bastien

    Two comments about Maroilles :

    – we don’t know why but have noticed that the tart is much better when the dough rises in a humid environment (when the floor has been cleaned or any other way…)

    – it is extremely good with Picpoul de Pinet, a decently priced dry white wine from Languedoc, light and delightful. We have never found this in a “dishes meet food” book we came across. Otherwise, you would drink this wine with oysters and likewise seafood.

  2. Jenny

    Just a couple of questions:
    Do you leave the rind on the cheese? The picture looks like you do, but I just want to check this is correct before doing it myself.
    Do you know if this recipe can be done with dried yeast?
    Thanks 🙂

  3. Monica


    Yes, you leave the rind on the cheese. And no problem using dried yeast. Just do as the instructions on the packet say, usually a packet of yeast dissolved in a bit of slightly warm water. When it bubbles, you know it’s active, and you can use it in place of the fresh yeast.
    Let me know how it goes! 🙂

  4. Jenny

    Wow, the recipe really went down a treat. Everyone loved it and my mum even said it was nicer than the tarte au maroilles that she had in a restaurant over here!
    Thank you so much for sharing this recipe


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