Recently Monkey Man and I went to a restaurant and ordered some charcuterie and cheese. When the plate arrived, they served the goat cheese with this wonderful apricot chutney. Ever since, I’ve had goat cheese cheesecake stuck in my head.
Cheesecake has been a “no no” for me because of the cream cheese and sour cream – they just don’t sell raw dairy forms of those at the store. The idea of a goat cheese cheesecake loomed on the horizon (soft goat cheese is so close in consistency to cream cheese but a non-cow dairy), but I wasn’t sure how to mellow out the goat cheese flavor so that it was not a savory dessert. The idea here is that the apricots and cherries don’t exactly mask the goat cheese flavor (a little tang is good in a cheesecake), but rather enhance it – much like the amazing apricot chutney paired with the goat cheese the other night.
To up the ante on the recipe, I wanted to accommodate one friend with an egg allergy and one friend with a cow dairy allergy. While this recipe will be presented without egg, at the end I’ll tell you how to prepare it like a New York style cheesecake (i.e. with egg and bake it). You might ask, Nicole, how did you get it to hold form without eggs or baking? I used gelatin. Note, you could sub the gelatin with agar and it’s a one to one substitution.
For this recipe you will need:
For the crust:
2 c. almond flour
2 c. chopped pistachios
2 t. nutmeg
2 t. orange peel (freshly zested or granules)
1/2 c. ghee
1/2 c. coconut oil
4 T. honey
1 t. salt
8 in. spring foam pan
For the filling:
1 c. boiling water
2 gelatin packets (unflavored)
1 T. vanilla
1 c. palm sugar
1 c. plain coconut milk yogurt
24 oz. soft goat cheese
3 1/2 T. tapioca flour
1 c. finely chopped dried apricots (unsweetened, unsulfured)
1 c. freeze dried cherries
First, chop the pistachios in a food processor until they are finely chopped. Add the almond flour, nutmeg, and orange peel and pulse again to mix.
Melt the coconut oil and ghee (about 1 1/2 minutes in the microwave). Add the fat and honey to the almond flour mixture and pulse to mix.
Line the bottom and half of the sides of your spring foam pan with the crust mixture.
Place the spring foam pan in the refrigerator to set while you prepare the filling.
Bring one cup of water to a boil. Then, in a small bowl, combine the water, gelatin, vanilla, and palm sugar. Whisk until the sugar and gelatin are completely dissolved.
In a large food processor (or blender…or mixer), add the goat cheese and yogurt. Blend well.
Add the gelatin mixture and tapioca flour and blend thoroughly. Be sure to scrape the sides of the bowl with a spatula a few times.
Add the apricots and cherries and blend.
Fill the spring foam pan with the cheesecake filling.
To make sure that the filling distributes evenly in the pan, I put my hands on both sides of the pan and turn the pan firmly (think shaking, but the pan stays flat on the surface). This will even out the surface.
Place the cheesecake in the refrigerator to set. Generally with gelatin cheesecake, you want to give it at least three hours to set. If you use agar, the cheesecake will actually set at room temperature, but I’d put it in the fridge anyway. I chilled my cheesecake overnight.
To serve, release the spring foam pan, slice your cheesecake and serve 🙂
To make this cheesecake New York Style, preheat the oven to 450F degrees.
Omit the gelatin and water. Add two large eggs instead and increase the tapioca flour to 1/4 c.
Bake the cheesecake at 450F for 10 minutes. Turn the oven down to 200F degrees and bake for 45 minutes.
This next part is super important!!!
Turn the oven off and allow the oven the cool with the door ajar for 3 hours, with the cheesecake inside the oven. Then stick the cheesecake in the refrigerator.