Sometimes I like a recipes because it presents me with questions. It makes me think about how and when I might serve it, or what I might serve it with. It gets me thinking. This recipe for Tourteau de Chèvre from Dorie Greenspan’s latest masterpiece  is one of those recipes. It is a cheesecake, but is definitely not the sweet creamy cake you might be expecting. It is more complicated. It is dry and isn’t very sweet. You can pick up a piece and eat it out of hand. It is also absolutely delicious.
I love it as part of a cheese course— a pre or post dinner treat. I also like it paired with something for dessert. Dorie suggests a drizzle of honey. I served it with a dish of concord grape sorbet. What do you want to do with it? Some cooked or fresh fruit would be nice. Are there sauces that would work? A dessert wine? These seem like good questions to have and I know that each of you will have an idea forwhat you want to do with this delicious cake.
For all of you sticklers out there, yes it is true that it France the top of this tourteau would probably be black and perhaps shaped a little differently. My home oven doesn’t get hot enough to make it black, but I promise this is just as delicious.
Grape sorbet recipe to follow. Wow, it is Autumn.
Tourteau de Chèvre (from Around My French Table  by Dorie Greenspan)
- Tart Dough (see below)
- 5 large eggs, separated, at room temperature
- Pinch of salt
- 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
- 9 ounces soft goat cheese
- 3 tablespoons cornstarch
- 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 400° F. Generously butter an 8-inch springform pan. line a baking sheet with a silicone baking mat or parchment paper.
On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough out into a circle that’s about 10 1/2 inches in diameter. Fit the dough into the springform pan , pressing it against the bottom and up the sides. It will pleat and fold in on itself as it climbs the side—do the best you can to straighten it out, but don’t worry about it, since perfection is impossible here and not really important. Put the springform in the fridge while you make the filling.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment or in a large bowl with a hand mixer, whip the egg whites with the salt until they start to form soft peaks. Still whipping, gradually add 2 tablespoons of the sugar, and beat until the whites hold firm, but still glosssy peaks. If the whites are in the bowl of your stand mixer, transfer them gingerly to another bowl.
With the mixer—use the paddle attachment now, if you’ve got one—beat the egg yolks, goat cheese, the remaining 1/2 cup sugar, the cornstarch, and vanilla until very smooth and creamy, about a minute or two. Switch to a rubber spatula and stir one quarter of the whites into the mixture to lighten it, then gently fold in the rest of the whites. Scrape the batter into the crust and put the springform on the lined baking sheet.
Bake for 15 minutes, then turn the oven temperature down to 350° F. Continue to bake for about 35 minutes more, or until the top, which will have cracked, is dark brown and firm; a thin knife inserted into the center of the cake should come out clean. Transfer the pan to a cooling rack and let the tourteau rest for 10 minutes.
Carefully remove the sides of the springform. Cool the cake to room temperature before serving. The cake will deflate as it cools.
- 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 6 tablespoons very cold unsalted butter, cut into bits
- 1 large egg
- 1 teaspoon ice water
Put the flour, sugar, and salt int the processor and whir a few times to blend. Scatter bits of butter over the flour and pulse several times to blend. Scatter the bits of butter over the flour and pulse several times, until the butter is coarsely mixed into the flour. Beat the egg with the ice water and pour it into the bowl in 3 small additions, whirring after each one. You’ll have a moist, malleable dough that will hold together when pinched. Turn the dough out onto a work surface, gather it into a ball, and flatten it into a disk.
Chill the dough for at least 3 hours.