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Lemon Goat Cheese Cheesecakes With Blood Orange Sauce

Lemon & Blood Orange Cheesecakes

There aren’t many things you’ll see me do because they are cool and there are very few people I (almost always) agree with or trust (almost always) blindly. My dear B. will tell you I spend my life with an imaginary raised eyebrow and my right ear pointed up. I am not skeptical, I am curious. Sometimes cautious. Sometimes not at all.

When Shauna mentioned that she was working on gluten free graham crackers, I had my ears tuned in to her updates. When she posted them, I blindly and happily followed her trail and made a batch. Then two. Then B. said they’d be even better under a cheesecake. So I made a batch of mini Lemon Goat Cheese Cheesecakes with Blood Orange Syrup. Then two.


I often talk about tea time as being an important ritual of my day (as much as my schedule lets me) and when I moved to the US, I became quite fond of having a few graham crackers with my tea. I was a student, they were cheap and a box lasted a while between roomie and myself.

Then I stopped having a cookie with tea altogether. Partly because it’s not that much fun a ritual when done alone so I’d save those moments for when my parents would visit and partly when I discovered it was not helping my health issues. I stopped. Until last week.

Baking Cheesecakes

I made a batch of Shauna’s gluten free graham crackers as soon as I came home from Atlanta. I sat down with my cup of tea and my just baked cookies and sighed. Content and thankful. Bill started saying that they were pretty close to the real thing but not quite until I stopped him, with my eyebrow raised, and asked "if the real thing is what makes us truly happy then these are it for me" and added "it’s ok if you don’t like them as much…more for me!"

Men don’t generally take a hint and yet mine likes to give me some, especially when it comes to desserts. He starts by fidgeting around the cookie jar. Opens the fridge, closes it. Plays with the cookie jar some more. Until I break down and ask if he has a suggestion. He may not bake or cook, but he’s got good ideas about eating. I had all forms of citrus laid out on the countertop for an article I was working on and he suggested we use some of the lemons and make a cheesecake if possible.

Lemon & Blood Orange Cheesecakes

Since it was spur of the moment, I had about half the quantity of cream cheese I needed but being a big fan of goat cheese in desserts, I used some to make up the difference. The tang of the fresh goat cheese worked perfectly with the tang of the lemons. I felt it needed some color though and made a quick blood orange syrup to go with it.

This first forray into a completely gluten free cheesecake was such a success that I made another batch a couple of days later. Yes. That good.

Lemon Goat Cheese Cheesecakes with Blood Orange Syrup:

Makes 8 mini cheesecakes

For the graham crakers: follow the recipe on Shauna’s site blindly…you won’t be disappointed, and grind enough graham crakers to make 1 cup crumbs.

For the cheesecake:

1 cup (250ml) graham cracker crumbs

4 tablespoons (60gr) unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly

1 cup (200gr) sugar, divided

8 oz (240r) fresh mild goat cheese, at room temperature

8 oz (240gr) cream cheese, at room temperature

juice and zest of a whole lemon

3 large eggs

Preheat the oven to 325F and position a rack in the middle. Line 8 standard sized muffin tins with liners and slighly spray with cooking spray. Place the muffin pan in a large roasting pan. Set aside.

In a medium bowl, stir together the graham cracker crumbs, the melted butter and 1/4 cup (50gr) sugar. Divide the mixture evenly among the prepared muffin liners and pat with the back of a spoon. Bake for 5 minutes. Let cool. Lower the heat to 300F.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the remaining sugar with the cheeses and the lemon zest on medium speed until the mixture is completely smooth. Add the eggs, one at a time and beating well after each addition. Add the lemon juice and beat another 30 seconds. Divide the mixture evenly among the muffin liners. Add hot water to the roasting pan but do not worry about coming up halfway the side of the muffin pan too much. The oven temperature is already so low that the water is just to be on the safe side. Add at least one inch inside the roasting pan.

Bake the mini cheesecakes for 20 minutes or until slightly giggling (or jiggle – whatever suits your mood) in the middle still. Keep an eye on them as they bake rather fast this way. Let cool completely before unmolding and serving with the blood orange syrup.

Notes: I made 8 small ones (baked in muffin tins) but you could make two 4-inch ones and bake them for about 10 minutes longer at the same heat.

For the blood orange syrup:

1 cup (250ml) fresh blood orange juice

1/2 cup (100gr) sugar

In a heavy bottomed medium saucepan, stir together the blood orange juice and the sugar over medium high heat until the sugar dissolves and the mixture comes to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer down until the liquid is about reduced by half. Let cool and serve with the cheesecakes.


Le P’tit Coin Francais:

Pour les fonds de cheesecakes: suivez la recette de Shauna ici ou utilisez des miettes de Petits Lu ou sables bretons.

Pour les cheesecakes:

250ml de miettes de petits gateaux

60 gr de beurre mou, fondu

200 gr de sucre, utilise en 2 fois

240 gr de fromage de chevre (frais et doux)

240 gr de cream cheese ou autre fromage frais

jus et zeste d’un citron

3 oeufs

Prechauffez le four a 160C. Habillez des moules a muffins avec des caissettes en papier de la meme taille et badigeonnez l’interieur d’huile avec un pinceau (ou utilisez un spray a huile comme ici). Placer les moules dans une grande et profonde leche frite par example.

Dans un bol de taille moyenne, melangez les miettes de biscuits, le beurre fondu et la moitie du sucre. Melangez bien avec une spatule et distribuez de facon egale a l’interieur des moules prepares. Tassez avec le dos de la spatule. Faites cuires pendant 5 minutes. Mettere de cote. Baissez la temperature du four a 150C.

Dans le bol d’un mixeur, battez au fouet les deux fromages, le reste de sucre et le zeste de citron jusqu’a ce que la pate soit lisse. Ajoutez les oeufs, un a un et en battant bien apres chaque ajout. Ajoutez le jus de citron et battez 30 secondes de plus jusqu’a obtenir une pate lisse.

Repartissez la pate entre les moules et ajoutez environ 2 centimetres d’eau chaude dans la leche frite. Faites cuire environ 20 minutes. Retirez les cheesecakes du four avant qu’ils soit completement cuits. Laissez refroidir completement avant de demouler. Servir avec le sirop a l’orange sanguine

Sirop a l’orange sanguine:

250 ml jus d’orange sanguine (frais de preference)

100 gr sucre

Placez le jus d’orange et le sucre dans une casserole a fond epais et portez a ebullition. Reduire la temperature sous la casserole et faire reduire le sirop de moitie. Servir avec les cheesecakes.

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Rachael January 27, 2010 um 7:19 am

Absolutely gorgeous photos and the cheesecakes looks simply divine.

La cuisine des 3 soeurs January 27, 2010 um 7:49 am

Un cheese-cake sans Philadelphia qui a tout pour me réjouir, j'ai tout ce qu'il faut sous la main, même des palets bretons ! Les oranges ont une couleur splendides.

Simo January 27, 2010 um 7:50 am

Le tue ricette si gustano prima con gli occhi e poi col palato…magnifche foto, magnifiche ricette,..complimenti!

Romy January 27, 2010 um 8:16 am

Oh I love the little cheesecakes in jars! How adorable!

Cottage Way of Life January 27, 2010 um 8:48 am

Oh my gosh Helen, this looks delicious. And, for me, timely too. I just picked all the blood oranges off the tree in my back yard & was trying to decide what to do with them.

Je vous remercie pour la recette!

Mikabella January 27, 2010 um 8:49 am

Just lovely! Will try for sure! Thanks for all the great photos and all the inspiration! Kram från Sverige. 🙂

Rosa's Yummy Yums January 27, 2010 um 9:29 am

That is a gorgeous pairing! What lovely cheesecakes!



Nina Timm January 27, 2010 um 9:35 am

I love the rustic feel of your photographs…….as for the cheesecakes….those portions are way too small for me!!!
Beautiful as always!!!

♥Sugar♥Plum♥Fairy♥ January 27, 2010 um 9:49 am

Wowowow,ur pics are so so so stunning,actually evrything u do rocks…perfecto….

poppyseed January 27, 2010 um 10:17 am

Your post was fun to read. Nice pictures. I love teatime, also.

Anonymous January 27, 2010 um 10:34 am

I never thought of using goat's cheese for a sweet thing.. that is so interesting! Sounds delicious!

Lilly Higgins January 27, 2010 um 11:12 am

This looks amazing,Blood oranges are so striking, this dessert is a real show stopper! I'll definitley make this as for valentines night. And well done on the brilliant macaron demonstration, the photos on Bakerella look great. I've always wanted to try and make them! x Lilly

Louise January 27, 2010 um 11:27 am

Ah, I have been searching for some treats to make my g/f sister for when her bub is due in about 4 weeks. These will be wonderful, and she can claim she is eating them for the calcium. No blood oranges here this time of year, but I am sure I can find a yummy substitute.

Jessica @ How Sweet January 27, 2010 um 11:56 am

I love blood oranges – have been looking for a recipe with them. Delicious!

Carlie January 27, 2010 um 12:07 pm

Oh yum. I LOVE goat cheese cheesecakes. The best one I have ever had was served with a concord grape puree. The cheesecake in a jar picture makes my mouth water.

Zsofi Anna January 27, 2010 um 12:30 pm

Recipes that just grow organically like this are often the nicest, aren't they? I too was intruigued by those lovely homemade graham crackers. Altogether, this is an ingenious combination! (From one skeptic to another.)

montague January 27, 2010 um 12:41 pm

so giddy that blood oranges are in season…

Engineer Baker January 27, 2010 um 12:59 pm

Oh, lovely! I need to buy one of the flours to make those graham crackers, but they do look amazing. And I was just thinking last night about trying to make a goat cheese cheesecake – yours looks fantastic! And totally worth making a couple times in a row 🙂

♥peachkins♥ January 27, 2010 um 1:11 pm

I am addicted to cheesecake! This one looks awesome!

Susan @ SGCC January 27, 2010 um 2:13 pm

Stunning visuals, as always! Those little cheesecakes look so dreamy! I just made the DB version of gluten-free graham crackers and really loved them. I'll have to give Shauna's recipe a try next.

tara January 27, 2010 um 2:20 pm

Helen, these are just gorgeous. Gorgeous! I feel I should put little stars around each and every one of these photos. They're all favorites.

Jamie January 27, 2010 um 2:28 pm

cheesecake always sounds good, but with lemon and goat cheese? sounds amazing!

Lisa | Authentic Suburban Gourmet January 27, 2010 um 2:32 pm

Those look amazing! Goat cheese and blood orange – terrific combination. Your graham crackers are a must try. Wonderful photos!!!

Winnie January 27, 2010 um 2:54 pm

Gorgeous and delicious I am sure!

noëlle {simmer down!} January 27, 2010 um 3:33 pm

I had to laugh because your post came up in my Google reader as "Lemon Goat Cheese Cheesecakes with Blood"!

So was it just a coincidence that you posted about GF graham crackers on the same day as Daring Bakers did their GF graham cracker challenge? I wonder how the DB recipe and Shauna's compare.

Kelsey January 27, 2010 um 3:39 pm

What an amazing flavor combination. I must try these!

Erika from The Pastry Chef At Home January 27, 2010 um 4:13 pm

I love that he "starts by fidgeting around the cookie jar" before making suggestions! Funny 🙂

These are beautiful. I've been waiting for blood oranges to arrive and now I'm ready to use them!

ps: there is a mini typo in the paragraph with the "big fan" link. Not attacking your grammar, just trying to help 🙂

Anonymous January 27, 2010 um 4:31 pm

This. Looks. Amazing.

Helene January 27, 2010 um 4:36 pm

noelle: yes, absolute coincidence since I did not check on what the DB challenge was this month.

Erika: fixed. Thanks.

Lucy January 27, 2010 um 4:55 pm

These look fabulously light and refreshing! Multiple baking must surely by a sign of pure success.

Lucy January 27, 2010 um 4:55 pm

These look fabulously light and refreshing! Multiple baking must surely by a sign of pure success.

Alexandra January 27, 2010 um 6:01 pm

Your photos emanate a feelingof quiet contentment! Sheer loveliness!

As for the eyebrow and frank nature, that's the only way to go! I have a small circle of frank eyebrow raisers, and it's nice to know there are more of us out there!

Superb combination!

Dandy January 27, 2010 um 6:14 pm

I'm passionate about goat cheese and really looking forward to this!

Sara January 27, 2010 um 6:46 pm

wow! I typically feel intimidated by your stunningly gorgeous desserts, but i think I can do this. Those little cheesecake jars are adorable! I might just make it and stare at its cuteness. Nice work, Helene!

Shauna January 27, 2010 um 7:03 pm

These are so beautiful that I want to cry! (well, really I want to eat them.)

Helen, you are a marvel.

And really, I am an eyebrow-raised skeptic as well. That's why you know that any recipe I post has been tested and loved by this little family.

However, I never expected my humble graham crackers to look like that.

Cookin' Canuck January 27, 2010 um 7:17 pm

What a beautiful cheesecake! I also am a ritual taker of teatime and appreciate a little something sweet to go with it.

Lauren January 27, 2010 um 8:01 pm

What are the chances? My daring bakers challenge and Shauna's all in the same week!

These look amazing. I have a major urge to race into the kitchen and whip up a batch of these cheesecakes right now!

Georgia.Pellegrini January 27, 2010 um 8:14 pm

These pictures are exquisite. This cheesecake looks so light and clean- pure heaven. Thank you for this recipe!

ani January 27, 2010 um 8:27 pm

beautiful beautiful! i am so going to make these for my family. i have a question though, when you say "fresh mild goat cheese" what are you looking for exactly, rather what kind of cheese.

ahh, thank you again to both you and Shauna!

Darina January 27, 2010 um 9:28 pm

Wow, I've never tried goat cheese in a dessert but I'm going to have to now. This post is such an inspiration. My doctor recently told me to cut out cow dairy AND gluten. I've been moping around for days, wondering what to eat. It's hard being a foodie and having to choose between good food and our health, isn't it? Must be difficult for you, being a baker. Nice to see that you are rising to the challenge. I need to learn a lesson from you.

Beautiful photos, Helen as always.

Thank you.

Helene January 27, 2010 um 9:39 pm

Depending on your area or what is available where you shop you can find 2 kinds of goat cheeses: one that is hard (aged) like Crottin and the one most often found in a log form. The log ones are generally milder in taste and soft and this is what I used here.

Darina: yes and no. There are a few things that are still a work in progress as far as gluten free but the vast majority of sweets and desserts are easily adaptable.
Savory foods are in comparison a walk in the park. We did not eat much gluten there to start with so that was even easier to change.
Good luck to you!

Thanks everyone!

zebulon January 27, 2010 um 9:46 pm

I definitely love this recipe. The name and ingredients alone were enough to make me drool, but your pics were the cherry on top (or blood orange syrup, whatever suits you!).

Can I ask which are the spoons you use? It's not the first time I see them here, and along with their forks and knives siblings, they add a nice touch to every pic they're in!

Greetings from grey and cold Paris, et vive Tartelette! 🙂

Rambling Tart January 27, 2010 um 11:44 pm

What lovely memories you brought back for me. 🙂 When I was a girl my parents were going through a particularly rough time financially. We were barely scraping by and paying each months bills was a miracle. But every afternoon, without fail, Mum would fix us tea and graham crackers. If the weather was good my brothers and I sat with her out under the trees, nibbling our crackers, sipping our tea and feeling like we were truly rich. 🙂

Helen in CA January 27, 2010 um 11:49 pm

Love giggling cheesecake(s)

"Bake the mini cheesecakes for 20 minutes or until slightly giggling in the middle"

Natalie January 28, 2010 um 12:51 am

i absolutely love the the picture with the little glass jars.
love the idea of eating cheesecake in a container, and a reasonable size, too.

Helene January 28, 2010 um 1:14 am

Helen in CA: yes, for some they jiggle but for us they giggle. Not a typo on my part but a voluntary choice of words!

marla {Family Fresh Cooking} January 28, 2010 um 1:50 am

This cheese cake over the gluten free grahams looks great! I like tangy with my sweet, the lemon and Goat cheese sounds like a lovely twist. Your writing is reflective of a nice sense of balance….feels like I am at tea time with a great friend!

marla {Family Fresh Cooking} January 28, 2010 um 1:50 am

This cheese cake over the gluten free grahams looks great! I like tangy with my sweet, the lemon and Goat cheese sounds like a lovely twist. Your writing is reflective of a nice sense of balance….feels like I am at tea time with a great friend!

Hailey January 28, 2010 um 2:08 am

I've been wondering what I could cook with these beautiful colourful oranges… thank you for your thoughts! Looks delicious!

The Teacher Cooks January 28, 2010 um 2:27 am

Very Nice! I like the cheesecake in a jar!

elly January 28, 2010 um 2:56 am

I am so in love with everything about these, from the goat cheese to the blood orange sauce to the beautiful color!

shannon @ January 28, 2010 um 3:03 am

How do you keep doing it? I mean I sort of have a general idea of what flavours will work together but I never would have thought of is perfection

Oh any chance of a macaron troubleshooting post soon? So far I have experienced wet bottoms, cracked tops, air pockets & about a thousand other problems. I need the macaronator

Dani H January 28, 2010 um 7:31 am

It's so wonderful that you can have graham crackers again! Those of us who do not need to eat gluten-free truly do not realize what that means, and just how many foods are not safe. I am looking forward to trying the cheesecake with the addition of the goat cheese. It sounds scrumptious. Your photographs are stunning, as always. The participants in your photography workshop in June are very fortunate – all of you are incredible food photographers. Dani ddh77(Twitter)

diva January 28, 2010 um 2:17 pm

I am so embarrassed to say that i've never actually had a blood orange but have heard so much about them! I'm intrigued. I absolutely love the colour of it. Gotta try it myself. Your cheesecake sure is unique – I'll hafta come back to this and make it 🙂

Anonymous January 28, 2010 um 2:20 pm

just qq mots pour te dire que c'est un vrai regal de visiter ton blog… Hummmm un moment de plaisir a chaque fois 🙂
Merci !

Nicolette January 28, 2010 um 2:35 pm

This recipe is gorgeous! What a sunny, bright idea for the end of wintertime. Thanks for the ideas!

Pei-Lin January 28, 2010 um 3:01 pm

Thanks for sharing, Helene! As usual, amazing photography & styling! And fun story, too!


susan January 28, 2010 um 6:24 pm

Ooooh, my mouth is watering. Love the little jars idea! Did you bake in them or just spoon it in after baking?

TvFoodandDrink January 28, 2010 um 6:29 pm

Wonderfully enticing pictures. Your site and words are so elegant and your food so well-presented. I will let you know when I make this recipe – maybe this weekend. Thanks!

Parigote January 28, 2010 um 7:58 pm

Haa le goût d'une orange sanguine… Rien de tel pour se donner du peps !
C'est toujours un régal par ici !

Sari @ Cook Your Dream January 28, 2010 um 8:52 pm

I love those two photos of the blood oranges and lemons. Just gorgeous! And the goat cheese in the cheesecake sounds wonderful.

Aisha January 28, 2010 um 9:55 pm

Hi Helen!

I have recently come across your blog–its such a culinary and visual treat :)I shall be a regular visitor from now on!
best wishes…

Deana Sidney January 28, 2010 um 10:56 pm

I love the way the colors bounce around the page as you read… such beautiful images!!! Such a pleasure to go to your website!!!

[email protected] January 29, 2010 um 2:51 am

My two little kids just became fan of blood oranges… I was looking for a great dessert to use some… This is it! Thanks!

Unknown January 29, 2010 um 9:04 am

Simply wondreful! Congrats!

Anonymous January 29, 2010 um 4:23 pm

MERCI , 1000 fois merci ! oui quelle bonne surprise : depuis quelques temps tu publies tes recettes aussi en français et ça c'est vraiment super plutôt que d'essayer de traduire plus ou moins approximativement la recette.
Je ne dois pas être la seule à être ravie ! bonne continuation pour ton magnifique blog !

Molly @ mollysmenu January 29, 2010 um 6:41 pm

I love the addition of a pinch of cinnamon and toasted pecans to a graham cracker crust. It adds a bit more complexity to the citrus flavors. A beautiful post!

Unknown January 29, 2010 um 7:40 pm

I… Oh, my God. I think I love this recipe. A combination of many colorful and tasty things. Plus, BF loves cheesecake so this may have to go on list for his upcomming b-day. =)

scandilicious January 30, 2010 um 9:31 am

Wow. A stunning blog! A fellow food blogger/writer here in the UK told me about My Tartelette and she was right, this is a beautiful site. Love blood oranges, have been eating them every day, and those graham crackers look irresistible. Will be checking in here for more delicious recipes (and photos!) 🙂

Kate January 30, 2010 um 11:36 pm

Fabulous! This is exactly what I want for my birthday cake! If you are ever looking for a simpler "on hand" gluten free substitute for in a cheesecake crust, Mi-Del Pecan Cookies work well. I always used to use digestives for cheesecake crusts, but have yet to find a lguten free variet (or recipe) Definitely want to try Shauna's graham cracker recipe soon though:)

Anonymous January 31, 2010 um 2:37 pm

I made these yesterday! The lemon and goat cheese is absolutely fabulous, even though I got impatient and took them out of the oven a few minutes too early (made a 4 inch version). Blood oranges are pricey here in upstate NY, so I made a cherry lemon compote instead. Very tasty, but I would like to try the blood orange syrup too!

Unknown February 1, 2010 um 3:27 am

OMG! Just made these and about died and went to heaven in one creamy bite! Delicious!

Jennie February 1, 2010 um 3:08 pm

First of all your photos are so beautiful! And your blog is amazing!
Could you please tell me where you get the lovely wood for your backgrounds? Thank you!

Loveforpiemonte February 1, 2010 um 9:44 pm

Wow everything looks so tasty!!!
Greetz Madelon

Susan aka paintermom February 3, 2010 um 1:11 am

These look fabulous! I cannot eat cow's milk dairy and I have been missing cheesecake SO much! What would you use in place of the cream cheese (could be goat or sheep's milk products) to get the right texture?

PS: I love your blog and have been lurking for quite some time!

Miss Diane February 4, 2010 um 12:26 am

Je fais toujours mes cheesecakes avec du fromage de chèvre frais et j'adore. Les tiens sont superbes et que dire de ce sirop à l'orange… Je meurs d'envie d'en faire bientôt.

Dina February 9, 2010 um 3:01 am

I love the pairing of cheesecakes with tart fruits … its a magical combination

Gwendolyn February 20, 2010 um 3:27 am

I just made these!!! they taste even better than they look, if that's even possible 🙂

Thanks so much for the beautiful recipes! I wish I'd realized you live in Charleston before I moved from there a few months ago…I'd have begged you to have tea with me!

glamah16 February 20, 2010 um 4:42 pm

You are the BEST! Thanks so much!

Anonymous November 4, 2011 um 12:10 pm

Last year one of my sisters and my mom were told they were gluten intolerant, my sister really likes cakes, so she was really shocked. I started searching in the internet looking for recipes suitable for them, and then I found this one a few days ago, I baked for them and they really loved it, however I had to use Spanish cheese cake as it was the only one I had at home which from my point of view really improved the whole thing. Why don´t you have a look at this website, I think you are going to love it.
kind regards

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