Parting gift- a goats curd cheesecake

The Hungry One left me.

Off he went, in search of pork knuckle, lederhosen and evenings in the questionable company of long steins and carnival rides.

His final supper before he left for Oktoberfest was supposed to be healthy. Some lightly seasoned plaice fillets, salsa verde and a tangle of salad made with ribbons of zucchini. Nourishing. Simple. Soothing.

Except he wasn’t having a great day. So half way through I sent him a leading message. “Would you like cheesecake tonight?”

“Yes….:)” was the reply.

I know that the rods I carve are all my own.

The choice of cheesecake may have something to do with The Hungry One’s happy place being tightly tethered to his sweet tooth. But the offer also came as I walking past Neal’s Yard Dairy and their vat of fresh goat’s curd. This is no ordinary curd. It as fluffy as fake snow and has a tang that’s really more of a gentle twinkle. There’s also the novelty value of being able to portion it out for yourself.

It’s also the goats curd that Fergus Henderson specifies for use in his baked goats cheesecake in ‘Beyond Nose To Tail’.

So half a kilo of the curd came home with me.

Instead of the bottle of marc (which I gather is similar to grappa) which Fergus recommends you drizzle over the top (and drink during cooking), I figured a night that was easier on the booze might be more beneficial.

So we opted for blackberries instead.

The Hungry One may be able to eat a whole cheesecake on his own, but on the night before he left, we only got through half. The other half got packaged up and went on the plane with him.

If I was smarter I would have kept it in the fridge as collateral to ensure he came home in one piece.

Live and learn. Come home soon please darling.

Goat’s curd cheesecake, with blackberries
(Via Fergus Henderson and Justin Piers Gellatly)

NB, this is a half recipe. The original will feed ten to 12. This is makes a shallower cake, that will feed four, or one Hungry One. It’s a doddle to throw together and what I love about it is it isn’t too cloyingly sweet. What it could do with is a little bit of crunch. The texture is quite nursery school. But possibly not a bad thing to line your stomach with before you go off to drink beer for three days.

Goat’s curd cheesecake
(Via Fergus Henderson) Serves 6, or one very very hungry Hungry One

Shopping and foraging:
500 grams of goat’s curd
Juice and grated zest of one lemon
3 eggs
125 grams of sugar
handful of blackberries.

Here’s how we roll

1.Preheat an oven to 180 degrees.

2. Take a springform tin 20 -25 cm is fine and line it with baking paper. You may need to butter the tin to get the paper to stick.

3.Put the goat’s curd, the lemon juice and zest in a bowl and whisk it gently together by hand. Fergus points out that doing it by hand is important- an electric mixer may ‘overwork the curd’. And much like me, curd hates to be overworked.

4. Mix the eggs and sugar together until the sugar dissolves. Slowly combine the curd with the eggs and sugar, whisking and trying to keep as much air in it as possible.

5.Stud the top with blackberries and bake for an hour until it’s golden brown. Take it out while it’s still a little wobbly. It will set more as it cools.

6. Some smashed up ginger nut cookies would be an excellent accompaniment. If there are no blackberries, then other berries, or slivers of stone fruit or pear would also work.

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