One of the supermarkets nearby has those secret sales. You know the kind; you go on-line and attach the sale to your shopper’s card. While we really dislike the whole idea of needing cards for shopping (it’s especially bothersome when we shop for groceries while traveling), we still do it. Especially when we can pick up raspberries on the cheap, as we did this week. Then we just had to figure out what to make, but that’s easy.
This particular recipe is based on what is, perhaps, our favorite cheesecake recipe: Tourteau de chèvre, from Dorie Greenspan’s Around My French Table. We like it because it makes a light, not too sweet, especially tasty cheesecake. Plus, it’s pretty easy to put together, really. Basically, make the crust dough the night before; the next day, make the filling and raspberry sauce, swirl, and bake. Since you can read detailed instructions by following the Tourteau de chèvre link above, we won’t go into great detail on making the crust or the cheesecake filling.
Some goat cheeses taste goat-y. Do not use them! Instead, seek out a nice, mild-tasting, goat cheese. We get ours from Black Mesa Ranch through the CSA and it’s the best. Also, don’t skimp on the eggs. Seek out true free-range eggs. They’ll cost more, but will taste so much better. And, as always, there’s no excuse for using imitation vanilla.
Procedure in detail:
Make raspberry sauce. Wash and drain, but do not dry, the raspberries. Pick over the berries to select 12 to 16 perfect berries for a garnish and set these on a paper towel in the refrigerator to dry. Pick out any soft or mushy berries and discard. Place remaining berries in a saucepan over medium heat.
Add sugar. Add about a tablespoon of sugar and a pinch of salt to the raspberries and bring to a boil. The berries will break apart, releasing their juices. Once simmering, taste and adjust sweetness. We found that 2 tablespoons worked for our raspberries, but, as with all fruit, you must taste and adjust to compensate for the ripeness. Remove from heat and let cool.
Preheat oven to 400°F. Line a baking sheet with a silicone baking mat (preferred) or baking parchment. Butter a 9-inch springform pan.
Separate eggs. Separate the yolks from the whites while the eggs are still cold, then let them come to room temperature. We always use small bowls to separate one egg at a time — just in case a yolk breaks. The cold will help keep the yolks from breaking, but they can still break (one of ours did); remember that even a smidge of yolk in the whites will prevent them from whipping.
Roll dough. On a lightly-floured surface, roll the tart crust into a circle about 10 inches in diameter, sealing any fractures that occur.
Place in pan. Place the tart dough in your prepared pan, pressing the dough up the sides. If you wish, trim the top edge to even it up, but this is by no means necessary. Place the crust in the refrigerator while you finish the filling.
Whip egg whites. Place the egg whites in the bowl of a stand mixer with a pinch of salt (or cream of tartar), turn to medium, and beat until foamy.
Add sugar. With the mixer still running, gradually add the 2 tablespoons of sugar to the egg whites, increasing the speed of the mixer as the whites become fluffy. Continue beating the egg whites until they hold stiff, but not dry, peaks. Transfer the egg whites to another bowl.
Mix everything else. Place the egg yolks, cheese, 1/2 cup sugar, cornstarch, and vanilla into the mixer bowl (no need to clean; just be sure that most of the whites are removed). Fit the mixer with the paddle attachment and beat on medium until smooth and creamy, about 2 minutes.
Fold in egg whites. In three successive additions, fold in the egg whites until the mixture is uniform and still fluffy.
Swirl in raspberry. Add 3 to 4 large tablespoons of raspberry sauce to the batter and use the spatula to swirl it in gently. You’ll have some raspberry sauce left. Use it as a garnish.
Fill crust. Pour the batter into the crust, and, if necessary, add several more tablespoons of raspberry sauce and swirl in.
Bake. Place on prepared baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes. Lower temperature to 350 and bake about 35 minutes more, or until a sharp knife inserted into the center comes out clean.
Cool. Let cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then remove from the pan and let cool completely.
Serve. Spread a bit of sauce across the plate, place a slice of cheesecake on top, and garnish with a raspberry or two.
An easy five stars. Great raspberry flavor and the cheesecake part is light as a cloud! The addition of the raspberry helps to keep the interior crumb a little moist, too. All good things in our book. The one thing we’ll do in the future is spend a bit more time adding the swirl of raspberry, so it looks a bit nicer. And, who knows, maybe we’ll change out the raspberries for strawberries or blackberries.