Chevre Cheesecake with Pear Jam

This is the dessert, right here: the cheesecake to end all cheesecakes.

Fresh ginger, vanilla and lemon zest beg to be topped with a rich autumn flavor like d’anjou pear jam (or fig jam, or quince would be nice too).

Plus it has a whole pound of goat cheese in it.

Seriously, who’s gonna argue with that?

Chevre Cheesecake

This recipe is an adaptation of this one here, from Ile France Cheese Company.

Cooking Time: 1 1/2 hrs.

Serves: 10

Ingredients:

For the crust:

  • 1 stick of butter (plus extra to grease the pan)
  • 1 1/2 c. graham cracker crumbs, see below for instructions
  • 1/2 c. confectioners sugar
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. freshly grated ginger

For the filling:

  • 1 lb. goat cheese, at room temperature (I use Shamrock Chevre from my friend Anna)
  • 1 lb. cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1 1/2 c. sugar
  • 4 eggs, at room temperature, preferable from pastured chickens for the richness of the yolks
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 1/2 tsp. freshly grated ginger
  • zest and juice from one lemon
  • 1/2 c. pear-cardamom jam, for serving
  • 1/2 c. confectioners sugar, for serving

To make graham cracker crumbs, crush 10 graham crackers with a rolling pin or in a food processor. Melt 1 stick of butter in a medium saucepan. In a large bowl, combine butter, graham cracker crumbs, 1/2 c. confectioners sugar, cinnamon and ginger. Mix everything together thoroughly and press into the bottom of a greased 10″ spring form pan.  Put the crust in the fridge to chill while you make the filling. 

(If you have a stand-mixer, it helps with this step:)  Cream together goat cheese and cream cheese. Slowly add the sugar and eggs, alternating between the two and making sure to combine everything thoroughly. Mix until light and fluffy. Add the lemon, vanilla and ginger and mix well.

Put aluminum foil around the bottom of the pan with the crust in it and place the wrapped pan on a cookie sheet. (Don’t skip this step unless you want sugary good all over your oven that smokes for days until you clean it out. Not like I did that or anything)

Pour the cheese filling into the pan. Bake for 1 hr. When the cake is done, it will have a subtle golden color and still move very slightly in the center if you give the pan a gentle shake.

Serve topped with pear-cardamom jam and a dusting of powdered sugar.

Stout Beer Jelly

Post Updated 2/8/15 Oh, this ridiculous recipe.  A few years ago I was drunk on St. Patrick’s Day and decided that it would be a good idea to make jelly out of the beer we were all drinking.  So, I did. I wrote about it, and then it turned into one of the most popular posts on this site.  Of course it was accompanied by horrible photographs, too.  I finally have gotten around to updating it and adjusting the recipe.  Without further delay, I give you:

STOUT BEER JELLYbeer jellyThis is a strange jelly.  It makes an excellent present for someone who really likes beer.  While it’s not the best on toast,  it would be at quite at home on a cheese plate with sharp cheeses, pumpernickel bread, pickles and mustard.  One of my friends at the farmers market recommends using it as a glaze for pork chops. makes: 6 half pint jars cook time: 1 hr. Ingredients:

  • 3 12 ounce bottles of stout beer (I used Anderson Valley Brewing Company Oatmeal Stout)
  • 1 package Sure-Jell low-sugar pectin
  • 2 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1/4 c. apple cider vinegar

Bring boiling water canner up to a boil and prepare jars and lids. Put the beer and vinegar into a very large pot.  It will froth up much more than you can imagine.  In a small bowl, mix together 1/2 c. sugar and the package of powdered pectin.  Stir it into the beer and bring the mixture up to a boil.  Once it’s boiling, add 2 c. sugar and return to a boil.  Cook it at a rolling boil for 1 minute and then remove from heat. Ladle hot jam into hot, sterilized jars leaving 1/4″ headspace.  Wipe rims and attach lids, and then process in a boiling water bath for 10 minutes. Adjust for altitude as necessary.