The twang and tang combination of goat cheese and cream cheese is a fusion that will send your taste buds to an ambrosial rapture. I’m crazy about legitimate, bona fide cheesecake, I mean, who isn’t? My wish is for the tartness of the lemon and cheese to shine through the batter followed by the slightly sweet after glow of a lemon curd topping. I want my filling somewhat dry, almost crumbly, with a hint of bite…as a proper New York cheesecake would be. A cloyingly sweet and gummy cheesecake with a soggy bit of canned fruit topping sitting on a synthetic vanilla wafer is a recipe for disappointment. This recipe will make your heart sing. Pleasing to the eye, these tiny cakes end up looking like little jewels and because they’re bitesize…well,, hey, portion control! The marrying of goat cheese with cream cheese jacks up the flavor. The sweet but tangy lemon curd pairs beautifully with both cheeses and the fresh fruit acts like a foil cutting through the tartlet’s richness.
I happened to have homemade lemon curd on hand, which is always lovely, but if you’re short on time or don’t wish to fuss with it store-bought lemon curd is perfectly fine. It can be found in the grocery store along side the jellies and jams. It does add a surprising contrast of flavors but the lemon curd really acts as a “glue” in order to hold the fresh fruit in place. And, of course, choose your favorite fruits that boast deep, rich colors. Blackberries would be gorgeous. If you’d like to add a glossy to shine to the bites, a quick painting of heated jelly with have your treats sparkling. If you like more of a matte finish, a light dusting of confectioner’s sugar is lovely. But either way this dessert is a bad-ass pleasure. Let me know what you think.
Goat Cheese Cheesecake Bites with Lemon Curd and Fresh Fruit
- 1 6-ounce bag lemon cookies, crushed into crumbs. I use Pepperidge Farms brand.
- 8 ounces goat cheese, room temperature
- 8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
- 2 eggs, room temperature
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1-1 1/2 cups lemon curd
- fresh fruit for color, your choice
- Pre-heat oven to 375°.
- Place 40 mini size baking cups, paper or foil, on a cookie sheet lined with tin foil. Spray cups lightly with non-stick cooking spray.
- Place 1 level teaspoon of cookie crumbs on the bottom of each sprayed baking cup.
- Use your fingertips or even a muddler from your bar to press down on the crumbs. This is your crust. Set cookie sheet aside.
- In a large bowl beat the cheeses together until light and fluffy.
- Add the eggs and beat well followed by the sugar. Beat well.
- Add lemon juice and vanilla beating well after each addition.
- Scoop batter into baking cups filling 2/3 full. I use a 1 1/2″ melon ball scoop.
- Bake 15-17 minutes keeping a watchful eye. Each oven is different and these can cook quickly.
- Cool in baking cups and refrigerate 6 hours to overnight.
- Prior to serving top with 1/2-1 teaspoon lemon curd, to your taste
- Top lemon curd with fresh fruit.
- For a glossy finish heat 3 or 4 tablespoons of jelly in microwave until dissolved, 10-15 seconds. Use a small pastry or paint brush to cover fruit with jelly. Re-heat jelly if necessary as you work.