Raspberry & Honey Goat Cheese Tart

Valentine’s Day is right around the corner and if you are looking for dessert ideas, here is one. This tart is the perfect combination of sweet and savory, which is just the way I like it.  I make mine with a gluten-free crust but you can certainly use a crust recipe of your own.  The original recipe is from the So Let’s Hang Out blog.  

Crust:
¾ cup almond flour
2 Tbsp. coconut flour
1 egg
4 Tbsp. butter or ¼ cup coconut oil
Pinch of sea salt

Filling:
10 oz. plain goat cheese
1/3 cup heavy cream
2 - 3 Tbsp. raw honey
2 Tbsp. butter
1 egg
Pinch of sea salt

Garnish:
Fresh raspberries
Raw homey

Preheat oven to 350 F.
Combine all crust ingredients in a food processor and pulse until a ball of dough forms.  Press the dough into the bottom of a tart pan using your fingers. Bake the crust for about 10 minutes, avoid browning the edges.  Remove from the oven and allow to cool slightly.  
Place the filling ingredients into a clean food processor bowl and process until smooth.  Pour the filling into the tart crust.  Bake for 20 – 25 minutes or until a golden color.  Remove from oven and allow to cool.  Garnish the tart with raspberries and drizzle with honey.   

Tomato and Herb Goat Cheese Tart

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Tomato season is coming to an end, at least in the Midwest.  The cooler temperatures are not allowing the larger ones to ripen as quickly.  However I did manage to gather a bowl of cherry tomatoes the other day and decided why not make a savory tart!? I also just happened to have some crust dough frozen from last week’s baking and a package of goat cheese in the fridge.

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I like tarts.  They are easy and versatile.  I have a Pinterest board dedicated entirely to tarts, if you’re ever interested in taking a peek.  The crust for this recipe is not gluten-free.  It is made from organic spelt four which is an ancient grain that's free of cross-breeding, hybridization and genetic modifications, unlike modern wheat.  This crust recipe is from my mom and makes enough dough for two large or three small tarts, depending on the size of your pan.

Crust
1 3/4 (14 Tbsp.) sticks cold butter, cubed
3 1/3 cups spelt flour
1 cup sour cream
Pinch of sea salt

In a large bowl, stir together flour and salt.  Next, cut the butter into the flour mixture using a pastry cutter, until the texture resembles coarse crumbs.  Mix in the sour cream and combine well.  Divide into two equal portions, cover and refrigerate at least 5 hours or overnight.  Unused dough can be frozen for later use.

Tart Filling
1 pint cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
8 oz. plain goat cheese, room temperature
1 Tbsp. dried herbs of choice
Sea salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 375 F.
Roll out and press the dough into a well-buttered tart pan. Pierce crust a few times with a fork. Bake for 5 -10 minutes.  Allow to cool slightly.  Mix together the goat cheese, dried herbs, sea salt and pepper.  Spread mixture evenly over the bottom of the crust.  Top with sliced tomatoes.  Return to the oven, bake for additional 15 – 20 minutes.  Can be enjoyed warm or at room temperature.

Lemon (Goat Cheese) Cheesecake

I hope you’re not too disappointed to see me post a dessert.  Let's admit it, life wouldn’t be fun without the a little indulgence.  For most of my adult life I avoided baking.  Don’t misunderstand, I would still partake in the occasional dessert, either store-bought or lovingly prepare by a family member.  However, as I became more health-conscious I wanted to ensure that the desserts I and my family ate were made of the best quality ingredients possible, without partially hydrogenated oils, processed sugars, and artificial colors or flavors, which are commonly found in commercially-prepared desserts.  Even though I still don’t bake on a regular basis, I have learned to make a handful of (relatively healthy and most importantly) delicious desserts.  Normally I try to avoid using wheat and/or flour.  On the rare occasion that I do, I opt for organic spelt flour.  Spelt is an ancient grain which, unlike modern wheat, remains pure of cross-breeding, hybridization and genetic modification.

You will soon notice that some of my favorite desserts are made with some type of cheese.  My only hesitation with the majority of the cheese-based recipes I encounter is that they call for cream cheese, which I am not a fan of.  I do happen to love goat cheese, so when I came across this recipe I had to try it.

This wonderful recipe is adapted from Paris to Provence.  I modified the recipe to meet my personal preferences.  I cut the sugar in half, made my own gluten-free crust and separated the eggs in order to produce a more delicate texture.  If you have a trusted crust recipe of your own, use it instead.  You can even omit the crust altogether.  Also if you prefer a denser cake, do not separate the eggs.

Crust
1 cup almond flour or almond meal
1 cup cashew meal
2 Tbsp. butter (room temperature)
1 egg

Filling
15 oz. soft goat cheese
16 oz. mascarpone
3 Tbsp. finely grated lemon zest
4 large eggs (separated)
½ cup sugar (organic, unrefined)
½ tsp sea salt

Preheat the oven to 350 F. 

To make the crust, combine the almond flour, cashew meal, butter and egg in large bowl and mix well.  Place the crust dough in the center of a 9 or 10 inch spring-form pan.  Using your fingertips, gently press the dough evenly over the bottom and two-thirds up the sides of the pan.  Bake the crust for about 15 minutes. 

In the meantime, process the goat cheese, mascarpone, lemon zest, 4 yolks, sugar, and salt in a food processor (or with a hand mixer) until smooth and creamy.  Whisk 4 eggs whites with a mixer until they form peaks, then fold into the cheese mixture. 

Pour the filling into the crust and bake until the top springs back when lightly pressed with a fingertip, about 1 hour.  Remove from the oven and let cool to room temperature or transfer to the refrigerator to cool for at least 1 hour.  When completely cool, release the sides of the spring-form pan and transfer the cheesecake to a serving plate.  Cut into slices and serve chilled or at room temperature.