Friday, January 25, 2013

Lemon Goat Cheese Cheesecake


A few years ago I had the best cheesecake I have ever laid my fork into. There was a restaurant in Old Town Scottsdale called Crudo that was an Italian Japanese fusion restaurant...yes, I know it sounds odd, but I just loved it. For dessert, their in house chef had made lemon goat cheese cheesecake in a jar with a sugar cookie crust. It. was. to. die. for. If I could remember each and every dream that I have had since I had this dessert for the first time, I bet 10% of my dreams were about this sweet and tangy treat. Now, Crudo has moved about 3 blocks from my house in Phoenix, and it takes all of my being to not stop by there each and every day on my way home from work to check in and see if the lemon goat cheese cheesecake is available. 

So instead of the Crudo staff knowing me by first name and my dessert order, I decided to take matters in to my own hands and try making my own version.

Lemon Goat Cheese Cheesecake

Ingredients:
  • 5 oz. graham crackers
  • 3 tbsp. sugar
  • 4 tbsp. unsalted butter, melted
Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.

In a food processor, process cookies to fine, even crumbs, about 30 seconds. Add sugar and pulse two or three times to incorporate.

Add warm butter in slow, steady stream while pulsing; pulse until mixture is evenly moistened and resembles wet sand, about ten 1-second pulses.

For individual cheesecakes, spray muffin tin with non-stick cooking spray. Transfer half of the mixture to a muffin tin and press down mixture into all 12 muffin tins (this recipe will make 24 total). To make one large cheesecake, transfer entire mixture into a springform pan, pressing down firmly.

Bake until fragrant and golden brown, 10 minutes for muffin tins, 15 minutes for springform. Cool on wire rack to room temperature, about 30 minutes.

  • 2 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, cut into pieces
  • 12 oz. package fresh goat cheese, crumbled
  • 2 tsp. finely grated lemon zest
  • 2 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 1/4 cup sugar
  • 4 eggs
For the cheesecake, place cream cheese, goat cheese, lemon zest, lemon juice, and vanilla in large bowl. With an electric hand mixer, beat until just smooth, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. In two or three additions, beat in sugar until mixture is creamy. Add eggs one at a time, beating and scraping down sides of the bowl after each addition. Continue to beat until mixture is very smooth.

Pour batter into prepared crusts, filling them to the top. Bake until edges of cheesecake look set and the center is still soft and slightly jiggly, about 30 minutes for muffin tins, 50-60 minutes for large springform. Place pan on a rack to cool completely in the pan. Then cover and refrigerate for at least 6 hours or overnight.


When the cheesecake has thoroughly chilled, unmold from muffin tin or springform pan. Carefully remove and serve. 

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