Grgich Hills Estate Winery

Savory Goat Cheesecake

September 5, 2013 • Posted in: Fumé Blanc

Goat Cheesecake…with Zucchucchini-Lemon Topping

From “100 Perfect Pairings: Main Dishes to Enjoy with Wines You Love” by Jill Silverman Hough (Wiley, 2011)

Almost a quiche, not quite a mousse, this cheesecake is somewhere in between, silky and smooth yet divinely light. The zucchini topping brings added taste, texture, and a burst of bright lemon flavor. Perhaps best of all, the finished dish feels special, but it’s not hard to make.

Try it for brunch, lunch, or a light dinner, accompanied by a big salad, a hunk of good bread, and of course, a glass of Grgich Fumé Blanc.

Serves 8-10

1 cup plain bread crumbs
6 tablespoons (¾ stick) unsalted butter, melted
¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese (about 1½ ounces)

1½ cups chèvre (spreadable goat cheese) (about 12 ounces), room
4 large eggs, room temperature
12 ounces cream cheese, cut into 4-6 pieces, room temperature
1 cup sour cream, room temperature
4 teaspoons cornstarch
2 teaspoons coarse kosher salt
¼ teaspoon white pepper, ideally freshly ground
¼ cup chopped fresh chives

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
12 ounces zucchini (2 to 3 medium), shredded (You should haveabout 2¾ cups.)
½ onion, halved lengthwise (into quarters), thinly sliced
1 lemon, quartered lengthwise, thinly sliced (peel and all)
2 teaspoons coarse kosher salt, or more to taste
¼ cup coarsely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Wrap a 9-inch spring form pan with foil, covering the bottom and up the sides, so that it’s watertight. Set aside.

To make the crust: In a medium bowl, combine the bread crumbs, butter, and Parmesan, mixing to thoroughly combine. Press the mixture into the bottom and 1½ to 2 inches up the sides of the prepared spring form pan. Set aside in the refrigerator. To make the filling: In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the goat cheese and eggs on medium speed until combined. Gradually add the cream cheese, beating until combined. Add the sour cream, cornstarch, salt, and pepper, beating just until smooth. Stir in the chives. Pour the filling into the crust, spreading it evenly, and place the spring form pan in a larger baking pan. Pour enough hot water into the larger pan so that the water is 1 inch deep. Bake until the middle of the cheesecake is set, about an hour.

Remove the cheesecake from the water and immediately run a knife around the edges to release it from the pan. Transfer the pan to a wire rack and allow to cool.
Meanwhile, make the topping: In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, warm the olive oil. Add the zucchini and onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are tender, about 5 minutes. Add the lemon, salt, and ¹⁄³ cup water and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer, cover, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the lemon peel is very tender and the liquid is almost entirely absorbed, about 15 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the parsley and chives. Taste, ideally with your wine, and add more salt if you like. (You can prepare the cheesecake and the topping up to 2 days in advance. Cool both thoroughly, then store them covered in the refrigerator. Return them to room temperature, or slightly rewarm the topping, before serving.)

Spread the topping mixture evenly over the cheesecake. Unmold the cheesecake from the pan. Slice and serve warm or room temperature.

© Jill Silverman Hough. All rights reserved.