I’m not sure how to describe the amount of joy I feel when eating a piece of cheesecake. Maybe its because cheese is one of my favorite foods. Having it in creamy dessert form with crunchy crust is just so perfect. When I was younger, my family took road trips every summer to visit family in Tennessee. Sometimes, we would make a special stop in Chicago and visit the Cheesecake Factory. We would often order the white chocolate raspberry cheesecake and savor every single bite. I loved slowly taking a bite off of my fork, holding the bite in my mouth, letting the cheesecake slowly soften on my tongue. I had never tasted anything so divine.
This goat cheese cheesecake is luxuriously creamy and takes me back to savoring those bites a few years back. Goat cheese adds a beautiful tang that isn’t over-powering, but instead lends a touch of sophistication. The crust, made with the graham crackers from my previous post (remember my tip?) adds the perfect amount of buttery crunch. The cherry coulis is an elegant substitute for the traditional syrupy, bright red cherries often served atop cheesecake. Each bite is definitely worth slowly savoring.
Goat Cheese Cheesecake with Cherry Coulis
For the cheesecake:
8 oz. cream cheese
8 oz. goat cheese
3 large eggs
1 cup sugar
zest of 1 lemon (optional)
For the crust:
1 1/4 cups graham cracker crumbs (make your own crumbs by putting crackers in a food processor)
4 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon (if not already in the graham crackers)
Preheat the oven to 325F.
First, prepare the cheesecake pan. If you are using a spring form pan, line the bottom with parchment. Then, tightly cover the bottom with tin foil so that it reaches at least halfway up the sides of the pan. If you are using a rectangular pan, line it with parchment, but you don’t have to add the foil.
Allow all the ingredients (including the eggs) to reach room temperature before you begin.
In the meantime, combine the graham cracker crumbs and melted butter in a food processor. Pulse until the mixture begins to stick together and resembles course cornmeal. Transfer the crust mixture to a spring form pan or a square/rectangular pan (with at least 2 inch sides) lined with parchment paper. Use your fingers to press the crust into the pan. Bake the crust for 10-12 minutes or until it just begins to brown.
In an electric mixer, combine the cheeses and the sugar. Beat at medium speed until combined evenly. Add one egg at a time, mixing well after each addition. Add the lemon zest and beat for an additional minute. (Don’t increase the speed of the mixer above medium. This will add air bubbles that could result in cracking during baking.)
Pour the cheesecake over the crust. Fill a roasting pan with 1″ of hot water. Carefully place the cheesecake in the roasting pan and then on the center rack in the oven. Bake for about 1 hour or until the cheesecake just barely jiggles in the middle. Allow the cheesecake to cool (out of the water) for at least 20 minutes. Allow the cheesecake to chill in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours. Slice, top with cherry coulis (recipe below), and serve!
8 oz. fresh or frozen pitted cherries (I used Dole)
6 oz. canned sour cherries in water + 1/3 cup reserved water from the can
juice of 1 lemon
1 cup brown sugar
Combine all ingredients in a saucepan. Bring to a low simmer over medium-low heat. Allow to simmer for 8-10 minutes. Transfer to a blender (or use an immersion blender). Blend until all the cherries are broken down into small pieces.
This next step is optional- I sometimes like to skip it, which is not traditional.
Pour the sauce through a fine strainer. Discard the large pieces and store the coulis in an airtight container for up to 3 days or use immediately.