Basque Cheesecake with Fig Jam & Honey Whipped Goat Cheese
The Basque region of northern Spain is known for many culinary delights but maybe none more famous than their cheesecakes. This gluten-free crustless "burnt" cheesecake is incredibly creamy, versatile, and yes delicious. Traditionally Basque cheesecakes are not topped with anything...but when it is fresh fig season you have to forgive my break from tradition because these gorgeous fruits just have to be celebrated. Figs, honey, and cheese are a pairing fit for a goddess.
4 - 8oz packages of cream cheese (not whipped) - soften to room temperature
1 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla
For Fig Jam
500 grams of fresh figs (quartered)
1/4 cup lemon juice
200 grams or ≈ 1 cup sugar
1/4 cup water
For Honey-Whipped Goat Cheese
2oz plain goat cheese
2 TB honey
1 cup heavy whipping cream
Preheat oven to 350°.
Whip cream cheese and sugar together in a stand mixer on low (or in a bowl with a hand mixture) until well combined. Add eggs one at a time until well incorporated. Add Vanilla and mix well. The mixture will be very creamy.
Pour into a 10" spring pan. You do not need to grease the pan before pouring.
Bake at 350° for 40-50 minutes or until fairly firm in the center. Dark brown spots will form on the top of the cake. This is the distinctive visual of a Basque cheesecake. Remove from oven and let cool until it reaches room temperature.
While the cake is baking make the honey whipped goat cheese.
Combine goat cheese and honey by hand in a bowl. Add heavy whipping cream and beat with a hand mixer (or by hand) and soft peak form. Refrigerate until you are ready to use.
For jam combine all ingredients into a pot and bring to a boil. stir occasionally and simmer for 45 minutes - 1 hr. Blend using a food processor or hand-held emulsifier. This will need to cool considerably before you use it. At least a few hours but overnight is best. You will have plenty left over! Store in a plastic jar in the fridge or freezer - goes great on a cheese board with brie!
When the cake is cool and the jam has set you can assemble the cake. Spread the honey-whipped goat cheese over the top of the cheesecake. There should be a slight depression in the top of the cake after it cooled - spread in that depression. Then spread the fig jam over top of the honey-whipped goat cheese. Finish with a perimeter of fresh figs cut in half and a few sprigs of thyme or another green herb for color.