To close out the year, we thought we’d bring you a few more stories from Borderstan food writer Alejandra Owens.
Here are some of our favorites from the year, including her cookie-recipe swap… how to buy and give wine… that fabulous goat cheese cheesecake… and one of the year’s absolute-top-most-popular stories, DC Restaurant Week: Love It… or Hate It. Personal favorite: Jello: Classic Americana Plus a Recipe from Nigella.
And in case you missed it on Monday: Food & Drink 2010: Alejandra’s Restaurant Profiles.
Alejandra will be back next week with a new restaurant profile. And Happy New Year — remember to be safe tonight.
With Thanksgiving coming up in just nine days, readers seem to be looking for variations on standard recipes. Let’s face it: most moms are not down with putting any sort of goat in cheesecake. So, Alejandra agreed to let Borderstan post her most fabulous recipe for our readers — just in time for Thanksgiving menu planning.
• • • • • •
From Alejandra Owens, One Bite At A Time
Note to readers: You’ll want to use this crust recipe for the cheesecake.
Well… without further ado… the goat cheese cheesecake! Isn’t it beautiful? It’s so light and fluffy… lemony with that goat cheese-y aftertaste. It’s beautiful. It’s beautiful because we candied some lemon peels, used the perfect cheesecake crust… and added a dash of love.
The Necessity of Goat Cheese
If you’re just catching up on the story, last week I got it in my head that goat cheese needed to be a part of my life. And it needed to be in a dessert.
As I sifted through recipes and links saved, I came across Not Derby Pie’s goat cheese cheesecake with caramel sauce. Her recipe sounded like it would hit the spot… but as my desire for goat cheese turned a wee bit obsessive, I decided the cheesecake had to be ALL goat cheese… no cream cheese at all. After about an hour of research (which I totally did not do while I was at work) and many recipes read later, I settled on an old Food and Wine recipe with some minor changes.
A Lighter Cheesecake
I like this cheesecake because it doesn’t have that heavy quality that most cream cheese cheesecakes have. It doesn’t coat your mouth in an uncomfortable, “I need a glass of water after I eat this” sorta way. Like I said, it’s light, it’s airy… you can even see the air bubble craters on the top!
As the idea came together, I decided that I had to have a garnish for the cheesecake. Story time: I have a photograph in my bedroom that I took in Barcelona at the Park Guell designed by Antoni Gaudi, famous for his mosaics. The picture I took happened to be a large circle on the ceiling of a massive covered area of the park. Ta da! That’s the inspiration for the lemon peels! See the squiggles? Okay, maybe I’m the only one who thinks this is interesting…
Back to the recipe. This is one of those painfully simple recipes to execute. Don’t worry: you won’t mess it up. I will, however, warn you that a penchant for goat cheese is going to put a dent in your wallet. 11 oz. of goat cheese cost me about $15. So… wait until payday or make sure you really want it.
Goat Cheese Cheesecake
Adapted from Food and Wine
- 11 ounces mild fresh goat cheese, softened
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 lemon, juiced
- 1 lemon, zested
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 6 large eggs, separated
- 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- Preheat the oven to 350°. Prep a springform however you like to do so. I don’t prep mine, since it’s nonstick and awesome. (I got it at the grocery store… true story.)
- In a medium bowl, combine the goat cheese with the granulated sugar, lemon juice, lemon zest and vanilla and beat at medium speed until smooth. Beat in the egg yolks, 2 at a time, incorporating them completely before adding the next batch. Beat in the flour at low speed.
- In another bowl, using clean beaters, beat the egg whites until firm but not dry. Beat one-third of the whites into the goat cheese mixture, then gently fold in the remaining whites. Spoon the batter into the prepared pan and bake for about 40 minutes, or until a skewer inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely before serving.