Chevre Cheesecake With Rhubarb Compote and Candied Pistachios
8 ounces fresh goat cheese, room temperature
11 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
12 ounces mascarpone cheese
1/2 cup sugar
4 large eggs, room temperature
1 1/2 pounds trimmed rhubarb, chopped into one inch chunks
1 cup granulated sugar
1/8 teaspoon rose water
1 teaspoon maple syrup
To make the cheesecake, preheat oven to 325F. Beat together cream cheese, goat cheese, sugar and vanilla seeds using a mixer with paddle attachment on a low speed. Add mascarpone, and beat until just smooth. Add the eggs and mix in until just incorporated - you don't want to see any traces of egg, but be careful to not overbeat at this stage as it can result in a dry, tough texture.
Fill the mason jars with the mixture, being careful to not overfill, as the cheesecakes may puff up a little during cooking. Place jars in a roasting pan or 9x13 baking pan. Fill pan with water so it reaches two thirds up the sides of the jars. Cover the pan loosely with foil, poke a couple of ventilation holes in the foil, and transfer pan to the oven VERY carefully so no water is spilled into the jars.
Bake for 40 minutes, or until the cakes are set around the edges but still quite jiggly in the middle. Lift foil once during cooking to release steam, and then recover the pan. Cheesecakes - which are really baked custards - are notoriously susceptible to overbaking, so you should remain vigilant as cooking time increases, and bear in mind that the cheesecakes will look underdone when they leave the oven, and that cooking time for this dish can vary quite dramatically between ovens.
To make the candied pistachios, preheat the oven to 400F. Lightly oil a baking sheet and carefully toss the pistachios with the maple syrup until well coated. Spread the pistachios in a single layer and bake for 3 minutes, or until the pistachios look shiny but not darkened. Leave to cool completely on tray, then roughly chop the nuts.
Inspired by a strawberry cheesecake at Seattle's BlueAcre Seafood. Goes well with wedges of Toasted Pistachio Shortbread: http://www.ediblesociety.com/2010/05/dark-chocolate-dipped-toasted-pistachio.html
6.0 individual servings
June 17, 2010