The Complete Nose to Tail cookbook works a little magic on cheese curds, whipping them together with superfine sugar and eggs to make a cheesecake that's fresh, grassy, and sweetly tart.
Tips & Tweaks: Goat's curd can be found, according to the book, at a good cheese shop. Not to be confused with cheese curds, goat's curd is a fluffy, creamy dairy product reminiscent of mascarpone. Find a source in advance of attempting this dessert; you're going to need a lot of curd. The curd in question for this recipe was found at a farmers' market. Cheesemakers often sell the by-products of their cheeses along with the cheese itself; check out a farmers' market near you this weekend and see if you can't find some! Once the curd is secured, whipping the dessert together is very easy, due to the soft, light nature of the goat's curd.
As for the other main ingredient, Marc de Gewurztraminer, you can find it online. Marc is an eau de vie, which is made by fermenting the hulls of grapes left over after pressing Gewurztraminer grapes. Eau de vie, in general, is a clear, colorless fruit brandy, not necessarily made from grapes. They can be made from pear, plum, or peach, and any of those would work as a substitute for this curd cheesecake.
Excerpted from Nose to Tail by Fergus Henderson (Ecco). Copyright © 2013. Photographs by Jason Lowe.
- Yield:serves ten to twelve
- Active time: 15 minutes
- Total time:several hours, including baking and cooling
- 2 1/4 pounds goat’s curd
- Juice and grated zest of 2 lemons
- 7 large eggs
- 1 1/4 cups caster sugar
- 1 bottle of Marc de Gewurztraminer d’Alsace
Place the goat’s curd in a large mixing bowl, add the lemon juice and zest and whisk together with a balloon whisk until light and fluffy. The goat’s curd has a tendency to get stuck in the whisk but don’t be tempted to use an electric mixer as it will overwork the curd.
Whisk together the eggs and sugar just for a minute, then add them little by little to the goat’s curd mixture, whisking constantly. Pour the mixture into a 10-inch springform cake tin lined with baking parchment and put it on a baking tray. Place in an oven preheated to 375°F and bake for about 1 hour, until golden brown. It will still have a good wobble when it comes out of the oven but don’t worry, it will set as it cools down.
To serve, cut the cheesecake into slices and pour 1-2 tablespoons of marc over each one.