Lemon Chèvre Cheesecake

Having failed one attempt at doubling a recipe for a lemon chèvre cheesecake (it literally flooded my stovetop when I popped open the springform and tasted like a delicious disaster which took me well over an hour to clean up), my brilliant mother suggested we try a different one.  Mario Batali’s recipe which is posted on Pithy and Cleaver did the trick.  I should mention that the original recipe included a glaze…we chose to omit this step as it seemed superfluous.  This cake was delicious and fresh and I foresee many future indulgences!

1 c. sugar, plus more for the pan
6 eggs, separated
1 1/2 lbs chèvre
2 tbsp. light rum
3 tbsp. flour
zest of 2 lemons
1 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
2 tsp. vanilla
1/4 tsp. salt
fresh thyme

Preheat the oven to 325F.  Grease 8-inch springform pan  sprinkle the bottom and sides with sugar, shaking out the excess (don’t skip this as it is crustless and you don’t want it to stick…non-stick pans won’t be sufficient)

In the bowl of an electric mixer beat the egg yoks and 1 cup sugar until the yolks are very pale. Slowly beat in the goat cheese, one cup at a time. Add the rum, flour, lemon zest, 1 tablespoon of the lemon juice, vanilla, and salt and beat until creamy.

In another bowl, whisk the egg whites with a pinch of salt until foamy. Slowly add 2 tablespoons of the sugar and continue whisking until you have a soft-peaked meringue. Working in two batches, gently fold the whites into the cheese mixture. Do not overmix.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan, wrap the pan in foil so that the water bath doesn’t seep through. Place the pan in a baking dish(or roasting pan) large enough to contain it comfortably. Pour enough hot water into the baking dish to reach approximately 1 inch up the sides of the pan. Cover the entire baking dish with aluminum foil and carefully place it on the middle rack of the oven.

Bake for 35 or 40 minutes, or until the cake begins to rise slightly and is somewhat set. Remove the foil and bake an additional 10 minutes, or until the cake looks set. Remove the cake/baking dish from the oven and allow the cake to cool in the baking dish for several minutes.

When the cake has cooled sligtly, remove the pan from the baking dish. Refrigerate the cake until completely chilled. Remove the sides of the springform pan.  Refrigerate overnight. Cut into wedges and serve with fresh thyme leaves.

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