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.
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.
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
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.