A Goat Cheese "Cheesecake" with Clover Honey & Lime

Recipe By: ©2009 Eric Villegas

Ingredients:
1 graham cracker crust, pressed into a 9 inch springform mold, baked and cooled. See recipe below for the batter.
1/4 cup Michigan beet sugar
6 whole eggs, separated
1 cup Michigan clover honey
1 1/2 pounds fresh mild Michigan goat cheese
1/4 cup unbleached all purpose Michigan flour
1/4 cup lime juice, freshly squeezed
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon Michigan kosher salt

Batter:
6 reserved egg whites
2 tablespoons Michigan beet sugar
1/4 teaspoon Michigan kosher salt
Topping:
3 cups mixed Michigan seasonal berries or fruits, cleaned, stemmed and cut to size if necessary
2 tablespoons Michigan clover honey
1 tablespoon lime juice, or to taste, freshly squeezed
Powdered sugar, for dusting

Directions:
Preheat the oven to 350 F.

Using a commercial pan spray, lightly coat the sides of the cooled spring form pan that has been prepared with the graham cracker crust and reserve at room temperature.

For the batter:
In the bowl of a stand mixer or similar, beat the separated egg yolks with 1/4 cup sugar until the yolks are pale and thick. Beat in the goat cheese, one cup at a time, with the honey, flour, lime juice, vanilla, and salt, continue to beat until the mixture is creamy.

For the egg whites:
In another bowl, using the wire whip attachment (or similar) whisk the egg whites with the salt until foamy. Slowly add the 2 tablespoons of the sugar and continue whisking on high until the mixture is thick and topped with soft peaks.

Using a large rubber spatula and working in two or three batches, gently fold the whites into the cheese mixture, do not overmix.

Pour the batter into the prepared spring form pan. Place the pan in a baking dish (or roasting pan) large enough to contain it comfortably. Pour enough hot water into the baking dish to reach approximately 1 inch up the sides of the pan. Gently cover the entire baking dish with aluminum foil and carefully place it on the middle rack in the center of the preheated oven.

Bake for 40 or 45 minutes, or until the cake is somewhat set. Gently remove the foil and bake an additional 10 or 15 minutes, or until the cake looks set or until a skewer inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean. Carefully transfer the spring form pan from the water bath to a wire rack to cool completely.

When the cake has cooled, refrigerate for a few hours until completely chilled or leave refrigerated overnight, which also improves flavor and consistency.

For the seasonal fruit topping:

Depending on the season and the availability of fruits choose either one variety or a combination that offers the best in freshness with bright flavors and colors. If you are combining berries and larger fruits it is probably a good idea to cut the larger fruits down to approximate the size to the berries.

In a suitable bowl gently crush some of the berries and/or fruits with the honey and lime juice to taste, gently mix together and macerate for 30 minutes or so or until the fruits begin to exude some of their juices creating a bit of sauce – reserve.

When ready to serve run a warmed knife around the edge of the chilled cheesecake to loosen and gently remove the sides of the springform pan.

Cut the cake into wedges, top with the fruit mixture with sauce and dust with the powdered sugar.


Michigan Clover Honey Graham Crackers

Ingredients:
6 ounces unbleached Michigan bread flour
6 ounces unbleached Michigan cake flour
2 ounces unbleached whole wheat Michigan flour
2 ounces brown sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon Michigan kosher salt
3 ounces unsalted “sweet” Michigan butter
1/2 cup Michigan clover honey
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/3 cup water, approximately

Directions:
Combine all the dry ingredients in a mixing bowl.

Using the paddle attachment in a mixer incorporate the butter, honey, vanilla extract and water until you form a smooth dough – do not overmix.

Roll out the dough to a 10×14 inch rectangle then carefully cut the dough using a chefs knife dipped in flour (to prevent sticking) into squares and “dock” with a fork.

Transfer the squares to a prepared sheet pan or cookie sheet and bake at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes.


Graham Cracker Pie Crust

Ingredients:
6 tablespoons unsalted “sweet” butter, melted
24 graham crackers, commercially prepared or see recipe
1/4 cup Michigan beet sugar

Directions:
In a small saucepan or the microwave, melt 6 tablespoons of butter. Place about 20 to 24 graham crackers in a plastic bag. Roll with a rolling pin until finely crushed. Measure 1 1/2 cups of graham cracker crumbs into a medium bowl with the 1/4 cup of sugar and the melted butter. Using a rubber spatula or mixing spoon blend the ingredients thoroughly.

Press the graham cracker mixture firmly into your preferred the pie plate, springform or other suitable pan and pre-bake the crust, bake for 8 to 10 minutes in a preheated 350 degree F. oven.

Let cool and use as needed.

Leave a Reply