Every Tuesday morning, I pick up 1 1/2 gallons of goat's milk from a neighbor's farm. I use one gallon to make this cheesecake and 1/2 gallon to make my kefir.
Sometimes I finish the cheesecake by Tuesday night and eat it Wednesday morning. Other times, I let it set and drain longer, so that I end up finishing it Wednesday morning (and eating it before it even sets completely!) It seems to be delicious no matter what I do, so I decided to share it with you.
Disclaimer: I'm not a gourmet cook. This recipe came from my attempts to make a raw kefir cheesecake (click here). I wanted to see if I could use our chevre culture to make the curds, rather than my kefir grains, and I found it to be very easy to do. So, here it is and I welcome any feedback you can give me in the comments.
Simple Chevre Cheesecake
Note: This is the recipe for using a small cheesecake pan. If you are using the larger, springform kind, you can double all the ingredients except the Chevre culture. Leave that at one packet when using up to 2 gallons of milk.
1 gallon raw goat's milk
1 packet C20G Chevre Culture
1 packet gelatin (Knox is the only brand available in our area)
1/3 cup raw agave nectar
2 tsp. vanilla
pinch of salt
1 1/2 cups dates (pitted)
1 1/2 cups walnuts
1/4 tsp salt
You will need:
1. Make your curds:
Heat one gallon of raw goat's milk to 86F.
Turn off the heat (if using electric heat- take the pot off the stove) and sprinkle 1 packet of C20G Chevre into the milk. Stir gently for a minute or two.
Cover the pot and put it someplace warm to set. There are a million options here. I have a large cooler I put mine in (with 1/2 gallon of kefir in the cheesecloth covered pot). In the winter, I put it next to a radiator. On a hot day, I put it in the sun. Sometimes I use two Yogotherms. Once I just left it on the kitchen counter and it was fine. The temperature should be somewhere around 70-85F.
If the temperature is higher, it will set faster, of course. On the day I left it in the sun, it set in 4 hours. In the cooler, I usually leave it for 6-8 hours (unless I forget about it!). Once I left it in the cooler for 24 hours and it was fine. The taste was a little more acidic than usual, but I just added a few more teaspoons of agave to it. Usually, I pick up my milk at 9am, add the culture and let it set in the cooler until 5 or 6pm.
|I put bags of hot water in the cooler to keep it warm.|
When the curds have set, you can push them away from the sides of the pot. (I let them set a long time when I took this picture- usually they are submerged in whey.)
Spoon them into a bowl lined with butter muslin, and hang them anywhere. I use a banana hanger I found at a Salvation Army, but there are a hundred different ways to hang your curds.
I hang them for 4-6 hours at room temperature. Sometimes, if it's late and I don't feel like making the cheesecake, I'll put the bag of curds on a colander and move it into the fridge for the night.
|These curds were dryer than usual because I let the milk set longer. No problem-they made a great cheesecake anyway.|
2. Make your crust:
I make a very simple crust from 1 1/2 cups of dates and 1 1/2 cups walnuts ground up in the food processor with 1/4 teaspoon sea salt. Don't forget to remove the pits from the dates before you put them in the processor!
Press them into the bottom of your pan.
3. Make your filling:
Dissolve 1 packet of gelatin in 1 cup of hot water (follow directions on package).
Let it dissolve while you add your other ingredients to your curds. Add 1/3 cup raw agave, 2 teaspoons vanilla and a pinch of salt.
When the gelatin is dissolved, add it to the rest and either use a mixer or a food processor to blend it all together.
|Sometimes I use a mixer|
|Sometimes I use my food processor|
When blended, you can put it in the fridge to set for 45 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes (as it suggests on the gelatin packet) or you can just pour it into the cheesecake pan and refrigerate. I have tried it both ways and I don't see the difference.
A couple of hours later, it's cheesecake!