Happy Tuesday, everyone! I took yesterday off for the 4th of July holiday, which was sorely needed. While only The Young One went to see fireworks with friends, Beloved and I compensated by playing with explosives in the kitchen – we stayed up till 1 a.m. last night canning homemade chicken stock with our new pressure canner. It was really quite amusing – it made us both distinctly uneasy; I don’t think Swiss watches are crafted with the care and precision with which we tended the 11 pounds of pressure used to can that stock for 20 minutes. However, now that we’ve done it, I feel much better about the process and can’t wait to use it to can more food – beef bone broth is planned for the coming weekend.
I also made a new barbecue sauce that was a HUGE hit in our house, and will likely be my go-to sauce from now on (or at least until I discover a new one). I had planned to post the recipe today, but after making this incredible dessert I changed my plans. ‘Cause this cheesecake? Is almost too good for words.
Fresh berries abounded at the farmer’s market this last weekend, and we ended up purchasing 2 pints each of red raspberries and blueberries, along with some plain soft goat cheese (chevre). My thought was to make another tart, mixing the goat cheese with a little honey and vanilla and topping it with the berries – sort of a red, white and blue dish that would be a fun dessert for the 4th. Once I got home, though, I started thinking, “You know…this would make a darn good cheesecake…” I love cheesecake, and thought I’d never have it again after giving up cow’s dairy. This didn’t make just a darn good cheesecake; it made a fan-freaking-tastic cheesecake.
The cake is rich, with a lovely lemon flavor, and not too sweet. I used coconut sugar to sweeten it, which also gave it a gorgeous, warm, golden color that in no way detracted from the appearance or flavor. If you recall from my Rustic Apple Tart recipe, coconut sugar is made from the sweet sap of coconut trees, processed at low temperatures just long enough for it to crystallize and has nearly half the calories and carbohydrates of regular granulated sugar. It has a flavor very like that of brown sugar, so if you want to substitute brown sugar or evaporated cane juice it should be fine. Of course you can use plain white sugar if you wish. Other than that, it is not very different from my “old” cheesecake recipe except that it uses soft goat cheese rather than cream cheese, goat butter rather than cow butter, and almond meal rather than graham cracker crumbs, and each of the latter ingredients can be substituted in equal amounts if you prefer.
At about 16 grams of carbohydrate per serving it doesn’t quite qualify as low carb, but it still comes in at under more than half the carbohydrates of a piece of traditional cheesecake.
Note: If you don’t have a stand mixer, you can use a hand mixer and a large mixing bowl. I’d recommend whisking together the almond meal and coconut sugar, and mixing in the butter by hand for the crust, though, as well as using high speed for mixing the batter.
16 ounce soft goat cheese, at room temperature
3 large eggs, at room temperature
3/4 cup coconut sugar
2 teaspoons lemon zest, grated
1/2 large lemon, juiced
1 1/2 cups almond flour
1/2 cup coconut sugar
1/3 cup goat butter
Preheat the oven to 350 F.
In a microwave safe measuring cup, melt the butter on low power and allow to cool. In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the almond flour and ½ cup coconut sugar and mix on low speed with the paddle attachment. Turn the mixer off and add the butter; resume mixing on low speed until the ingredients are well combined. Press the mixture evenly into a well-buttered, 9-inch springform pan, pressing the crust up the sides of the pan at least 1/2 an inch. Set aside.
Wash the mixing bowl of the stand mixer and dry thoroughly. Add the eggs and sugar and beat with the paddle attachment at medium speed until the sugar is completely dissolved and the mixture is slightly foamy; add the zest and juice and mix at medium speed for one minute more. Drop the goat cheese into the bowl by the tablespoonful, beating well after each addition. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and beat on medium speed until the batter is smooth and fluffy.
Pour the batter into the prepared pan with the crust, scraping it all out with a rubber or silicone spatula. Smooth the surface with the spatula and bake for 20 to 30 minutes, or until the top is beginning to turn golden brown and a thin knife or cake inserted near the center comes out clean.
Place the cake on a cooling rack and cool completely. Run a thin, flexible spatula around the perimeter of the cheesecake to loosen it before removing the outer ring of the springform pan. Refrigerate until cold before slicing and serving.