Scenes from this past week:
Logan swishing disinfectant inside of a 20 gallon jug like a vortex, cleaning it out for a batch of beer he brewed last week.
Pushing through the molasses-like crowds of people at the Saturday farmers market. Smells of fresh donuts, coffee, earth, tomato plants, pork barbecue.
Me: holding the cheesecloth over the sink. Logan: pouring cultured goat milk over the cheesecloth. Tying it up to hang over the sink with a piece of string and a rubber band.
Eating plate-sized omelets filled with caramelized onions, mushrooms, red pepper, fancy gouda; Drinking mimosas out of glasses with gold rims marked "Irish Coffee." Sharing it all with Logan and two beautiful new friends.
Me, crouched down picking tiny violet buds one by one out of my yard. Sounds of bees; watching a tiny spider whip off under a leaf; glimpsing the first blooming strawberry flowers.
Me, taking down a sheer white curtain, spreading it over the chest-we-use-as-a-coffee-table in our living room. Instant tablecloth.
Me: playing drums. Logan: playing stand-up bass. Our friend Ben: playing banjo. Our friend Eric: playing guitar. Wine glasses set on every table and windowsill. Harmonies ensue, like every Wednesday.
Spooning chevre into a cuisinart. Adding sugar, eggs, vanilla. A whirring noise while processing. Evening light coming in through the windows. The sound of kids playing in the street outside. Oven preheat going bing.
So this cheesecake is what I would serve to a fairy princess, or maybe to a bride on her wedding day. It's the sort of food that almost makes you feel guilty that you didn't wear a tea-length taffeta skirt or put on extra lipstick or even wear shoes to be in its presence. In other words, if someone made this for me for my wedding I would probably cry. Actually, scratch that. I think Logan would cry. In fact I am almost certain of this.
Logan asked me last night how much I would sell this cheesecake for. And I was like, "Hello this is made of CHEVRE and topped with wild flowers and berries. Ain't no way I'm parting with one of these for less than a hunny bones*." HAHA jk I would actually charge $50 for it.
Unless I put gold flakes on it or something (actually not a bad idea). Then I could feature it in a way-too-expensive-for-you-ever-to-afford-but-totally-beautiful-to-stare-at-and-then-feel-inadequate-forever-about wedding style shoot.
Anyhoo, that brings me to my next point: this cheesecake is all chevre w/ some complementary goat kefir thrown in there just to keep it all goat. We made the chevre ourselves (read: Logan made the chèvre and I ate the chèvre) out of milk we got for free which kept the cost really low in this. We (he) had to put the work in to make it a reality. But, if you have the chance to make SO MUCH fresh goat cheese DO IT. It's freaking God's gift to cheese eating mankind.
This ain't a cheap cheesecake to make if you're going to be buying cheese, kefir, etc. But, as I said before, it's perfect for a special occasion or just to really drive it in hard to your in-laws that you are the most perfect thing that could ever have happened to their son/daughter.
If you, you know, ever wanted to do that.
Adapted from The Kitchn
pistachio oat crust
1.5 cups regular oats (or oat flour)
3/4 cups pistachios
2 tbsp maple syrup
2 tbsp coconut oil
1.5 cups unsalted chevre
1/2 cup turbinado or demerera sugar
1/2 cup goat milk kefir (cow milk works too)
2 tsp honey
1/2 vanilla bean, scraped of its seeds
pinch sea salt
2 eggs + 2 egg yolks
strawberries, green tops removed
edible flowers (I used violet and cherry blossom, but pansy, wild rose, and orange blossom would be lovely as well)
Preheat oven to 375F. Line the bottom of a spring form pan with a round of parchment paper.
For the crust, grind your oats into a rough flour in a food processor. Add pistachios and salt to the food processor and blend 1 minute, until you have a sandy mixture. While running, add maple syrup and coconut oil. Scrape dough out and in to your spring form cake pan. Press evenly into the bottom of the pan. Bake 10 minutes on 375F. While baking, making the filling. Let cool at least ten minutes before adding filling.
In that same food processor (clean it out first), combine chevre and sugar. Add kefir, honey, vanilla bean paste, and sea salt. Blend until well combined. Add eggs, blending until just combined (you don't want to overwork the proteins in the eggs).
Reduce heat on oven to 300F. Add filling to pan. Cook 30-35 minutes, until the filling has just set (you want the filling to be wobbly but not liquid). Remove from oven and let cool to room temperature on your countertop. Place in refrigerator and cool further a minimum of 4 hours to overnight.
To decorate, place strawberries around the center of the cheesecake and sprinkle edible flowers over top. Serve with coffee (pinky up).
*hunny bones = one hundred dollars