Sunday, May 5, 2013

A delicious and easy Lemon Goat Cheesecake (Gâteau au Fromage de Chèvre et Citron)

Yesterday was a warm sunny day in Northern California, a perfect day for an al fresco lunch on the backyard patio with friends. We served vegetable salads (roast baby beets and walnuts, baby leeks and herb vinaigrette, and a raw artichoke and arugula salad with lemon vinaigrette) as a first course followed by a creamy fennel risotto for the main course.

For dessert, I made a lemon goat cheesecake from a cookbook, "Paris to Provence" that I just added to my collection of cookbooks I told you about here. This newly published cookbook by Ethel Brennan and Sara Remington includes recipes and stories from their summer childhoods as they traveled with their respective families from Paris to Provence.

We chose the menu for seasonality and because we wanted to serve food that we would serve guests at our table in Sablet. Bien sur (of course), the perfect beverage for our menu was rosé wine so to add fun to our meal, we did a blind tasting of three 2012 rosés from Provence. In case you are interested, my favorite was the Mas de Gourgonnier, Les Baux de Provence Rosé.

I normally don't buy cookbooks written by first time authors who are non-chefs unless they are connected to a cooking school. Despite my normal hesitation, I bought this terrific book because I liked the dishes, stories and photography in the book and the foreword is written by Georgeanne Brennan a food columnist and author of several cookbooks I like alot, plus she is mother of a co-author of this book.


The meal was fabulous if I say so myself but I thought the hit was the lemon goat cheesecake. So in case you would like to make it for your next time you have guests, here is the recipe.

Lemon Goat Cheesecake (Gâteau au Fromage de Chèvre et Citron)
Serves 10

Crust

1 1/2 cups walnut halves
1/4 cup loosely packed light brown sugar
20 plain water crackers, broken into 1-inch pieces (Carr's and Jacob's are well-known UK brands)
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

To make the crust, combine the walnuts, brown sugar, crackers, and nutmeg in a food processor fitted with the metal blade. Process until finely ground. Add the melted butter and continue to process until the mixture is moist and sticks to the sides of the processor bowl. Gather the mixture together and place in the center of a 9-or-10 inch springform pan. Using your fingertips, gently press the crumb mixture evenly over the bottom and two-thirds up the sides of the pan. Put in the freezer to chill for 15 minutes.


Preheat the oven to 350 Fahrenheit

Filling

15 ounces soft goat cheese
16 ounces mascarpone
3 tablespoons finely grated lemon zest
4 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 1/3 cups granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt

To make the filling, first rinse out the food processor bowl, then again fit it with the metal blade. Place the goat cheese, mascarpone, lemon zest, eggs, sugar, and salt in the bowl, and process until smooth and creamy.



Remove the springform pan with the crust from the freezer, place in the center of a baking sheet, and pour the filling into the crust. Bake until the top springs back when lightly pressed with a fingertip, about 1 hour. Remove from the oven and let cool to room temperature or transfer to the refrigerator to cool for at least 1 hour and up to overnight. When completely cool, release the sides of the springform pan and transfer the cheesecake to a serving plate. Serve chilled or at room temperature, cut into slices.


It was wonderfully light with a subtle lemon taste. It was not heavy at all. I also liked that you don't have to bake it in a water bath like you do for many cheesecake recipes. I bet you couldn't tell it was made with goatcheese. This will be made often so don't be surprised if you have this Chez Michel sometime in the future.

In the words of Jacques Pepin, I wish you happy cooking. Bonne journée mes amis et à bientôt.

11 comments:

  1. I just love cheesecake it is my favourite desert. With a recommendation from you I will certainly try this one. Thanks so much. Take care Diane

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  2. If I invite you for a long lazy lunch would you bring this as dessert?

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  3. Yum! Looks and sounds delicious, will definitely try this at home... thanks for the great recipe Michel :)

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  4. Diane - Thanks for the sweet feedback. Definitely try the recipe, I know you will like it and best of all it is so easy.

    Barbara - We would love to come for a long lazy lunch and I would be pleased to make this cheesecake.

    Tuula - You are welcome. Definitely try it out as it's very easy and delicious.

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  5. The whole lunch menu sounds fabulous, but the dessert looks like a sure winner! I love the idea of combining the cheese course and dessert. ;)

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  6. Camille - Our meal was very tasty but hard not to enjoy good food and rose wine al fresco. The dessert was a winner if I saw so myself. Oh I did, didn't I.

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  7. Ooh that cheesecake looks interesting! I have friends coming for dinner tomorrow night, if I can't find rhubarb (for a crumble) I will try this instead :)
    Bon weekend

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  8. This looks lovely and sounds amazing, Michel!

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  9. Sara - Tastes even better than it looks and easy too.

    Tailsfromprovence - I hope you will try it sometime. You will be surprised how easy and tasty it is.

    Linda - Thanks so much for stopping in to check out my blog and for leaving a comment. I appreciate this very much.

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