Goat Cheesecake with Strawberry Rhubarb Compote
by Pastry Chef Renée Daldry, Renee Suzette Chocolates
The rhubarb is ready and abundant, according to our farmer friends. And with all this good mix of rain and sunshine, the strawberries are sure to follow. We thought we’d share this really scrumptious recipe from our very first issue for you now, so you can be ready when those amazing red berries are ripe. We get ours from our CSA in Trumansburg, but you can find a slew of U-Pick berry patches around the region at our Local Resources page.
Goat Cheese Cheesecake
1 tablespoon butter
½ cup graham cracker crumbs
½ cup ground almonds (or an additional ½ cup graham cracker crumbs)
2 tablespoons sugar
pinch of cinnamon
pinch of salt
4 tablespoons butter, melted
8 ounces (two 4-ounce packages) local goat cheese, at room temperature
8 ounces (one package) cream cheese, at room temperature
1 cup sugar
zest of 1 lemon
¼ cup sour cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
3 pasture raised eggs
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Grease a 9 inch springform cake pan with the butter. Mix the first six ingredients together in a bowl and press mixture into the bottom of pan. Bake crust in preheated oven for up to 10 minutes, until it begins to “toast”, do not over bake. Remove from oven and let cool.
With a pastry brush apply melted butter to the inside walls of the crust pan. Turn oven down to 300 degrees.
Place goat cheese and cream cheese in mixer bowl and blend until combined and smooth. In a separate bowl, combine sugar, lemon zest and salt. Using the bottom of a measuring cup, mash the sugar ingredients together to release the oils from the zest. Add the sugar mixture to the cheeses and blend together well.
Scrape down sides of bowl and blend in the sour cream.
In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs and extracts. Add the egg mixture in 3 stages, blending in well each time. Scrape down sides again. Mix batter, making sure it is thoroughly combined. Pour batter into the prepared pans and bake in preheated 300 degree oven for approximately 1 hour. The cheesecake is done when the middle puffs up slightly and is somewhat firm to the touch. Remove the cheesecake from oven, let cool at room temperature for 30 minutes and refrigerate for at least 2-3 hours before serving.
Strawberry Rhubarb Compote
1 pound (4-6 stalks) rhubarb, washed and chopped into ½ inch pieces
1 cup sugar
pinch of cinnamon
juice of 1 lemon
½ cup Finger Lakes red wine (other liquids, such as orange juice or water work fine)
1 pint strawberries, washed, hulled and cut in half
Place the rhubarb, sugar, cinnamon, lemon juice and wine in a saucepan. Cook over medium heat and bring to a gentle boil for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in the strawberries, lower the heat to a simmer and cook gently for approximately 5 minutes, until the fruits have softened. Remove from heat and cool to room temperature or refrigerate until ready to use.
Remove the cake from the pan, spoon the compote over the top and serve.