Mario Batali’s Lemon Goat Cheese Cheesecake

  • Serves: Makes one 8- or 9-inch springform pan
  • Baking Temp (degrees F): 325
  • Views: 9688
  • Comments: 8

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If you adore chevre (soft fresh goat cheese) like I do, you must try this recipe. This one has aa wonderful cookie crust with a zesty lemon glaze topping, served with fresh raspberries. You can't go wrong!


You can make a half-size version of this recipe by halving ingredient amounts and baking in a 6-inch round pan (have done that a few times). Adjust the cooking time down by 5-10 minutes.

Crust, optional:
1 1/4 cups crushed animal or graham crackers; crush in a food processor and then, measure
3 tablespoons sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

NOTE: If not making a crust: Spray an 8- or 9-inch springform pan with nonstick cooking spray and sprinkle the bottom and sides with 2 tablespoons sugar, shaking out the excess.
Set aside.

6 large eggs, separated into 6 large egg yolks and 6 large egg whites
1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar
1 1/4 cup sugar; divided into 1/4 cup and 1 cup

1 1/2 lbs (24 ounces) fresh goat cheese, softened; I prefer Coach Farm
2 tablespoons unbleached all-purpose flour
2 tablespoon white or light rum
1 tablespoon lemon zest; from 2 lemons
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice, strained
2 teaspoons vanilla extract; I use 2 teaspoons of vanilla paste, as I love the vanilla flecks in the cake
1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 cup fresh lemon juice, strained
1/4 cup sugar
1 pint fresh raspberries, optional

Preheat oven:
1. Position the oven shelf to the middle. .

2. Heat the oven to 325 degrees F.

Make the crust, optional:
1. In a medium bowl, blend together the animal crackers, sugar and salt. Drizzle the melted butter over and mix. Pack mixture down into the bottom of the 8- or 9-inch springform pan.

2. Bake for about 10-15 minutes until very lightly toasted. Let it cool on a wire cake rack before pouring the cheesecake mixture on top of it.

3. Do not turn off the oven.

1. In a dry, clean bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, with the mixer on medium-low speed, beat the egg whites until foamy. Add the cream of tartar.
Continue whipping until the foam is white and opaque.
Increase the mixer speed to high and add the 1/4 cup sugar slowly at the side of the bowl, beating constantly until sugar is dissolved and whites become soft-peaked.
Scrape whites into a clean bowl and set aside.

2. In a mixer bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the egg yolks with 1 cup sugar, on medium to medium-high, for 3 minutes until the yolks are thick and pale in color.

4. With the mixer on low, slowly add the goat cheese to the egg yolk mixture, 1/2 cup at a time.
Stop the mixer and sift the flour into the mixing bowl.
Turn the mixer on low and add in the rum, lemon zest, lemon juice, vanilla, and salt. Beat on low until creamy.

5. Working in two batches, gently fold beaten egg whites into the goat cheese mixture.

6. Prepare springform pan for a waterbath. You need a larger roasting pan for the waterbath:
SARAH SAYS: For those use a springform pan, you need to prevent the water leaking in from the waterbath.
A. What I do is first set the cheescake pan, with its crust, in the bottom of a 15 x 17-inch Reynolds Hot (ovenproof) Foil Bag, used to bake foods in. The bag is shaped like a lunch bag.

B. Then, set both into the bottom of a larger roasting pan.

C. Scrape the goat cheese batter into the springform pan with the crust.

D. Gather the Reynolds Bag around the sides of the Springform pan. Do not close it over the top of the cake. The water won't leak in because the bag is sealed on all sides except for an opening in the top.

E. Cover filled springform pan with aluminum foil. Carefully place the roasting pan on the middle rack of a hetaed oven.

F. Then, fill the large roasting pan with hot water until it comes half way up the side of the Springform pan.

7. Bake for a total of 40 to 55 minutes, or until cake begins to rise slightly and is somewhat set in middle:
Bake for 30 minutes.
Then, remove foil and bake for an additional 10 minutes, or until cake is completely set.
NOTE: Don't cook the cake uncovered for more than 10-15 minutes; you don't want the top to brown.

8. Meanwhile, make the lemon topping to pour over a slightly cooled cheesecake, when done baking.

9. Remove cheesecake pan from the Reynolds Bag in the oven and allow it to cool on a wire cake rack. Let the Reynolds bag stay in the
waterbath in a turned off oven until the water cools. Remove both.

Make the Lemon Topping:
1. While the cheesecake cools, combine 1/4 cup of lemon juice and 1/4 cup sugar in a small saucepan.

2. Bring the mixture to a boil while stirring. Boil rapidly for 1 minute, or until mixture has thickened slightly. Remove from heat and set aside to cool.

3. When cake has cooled slightly, spoon lemon syrup over the top of the cake to glaze. Refrigerate for 2 to 4 hours, preferably overnight.
NOTE: The cheesecake tastes better if chilled overnight and served the next day.

4. Cut into wedges and optionally serve with berries.

Cheesecakes must be kept refrigerated where they will keep for 3 days or more. They freeze beautifully unless topped with sour or whipped cream. Make sure you allow them time to set in the refrigerator for at least 12 hours after baking and before freezing. You can freeze the cake in its pan or unmold and then freeze. If you unmold, freeze until solid before wrapping. It will keep for about 2 months or more frozen. Thaw in the refrigerator.

This is adapted from Mario Batali's Babbo Cookbook. I have added a few of my notes.

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