Last weekend a bunch of gals were coming over to chat and drink some wine. I planned a quick array of things to nosh on — cheese, crackers, grapes, strawberries, etc. — but really wanted to make something. That's when I remembered the Goat Cheese Cheesecake that TeamSugar member Mokona posted a few weeks ago. Goat cheese + cheesecake? How come I hadn't tried it already?

The flavor was sweeter than I anticipated, but the lemon really balanced out the "goatiness." The crust — which is made from Animal Crackers — also added the perfect texture and flavor. If you're looking to stray from the classic recipe — and I highly recommend that you do — then give this one a try! For the recipe,

Lemon Goat Cheese Cheesecake

Cookie-Crumb Crust
Crust from Cook's Illustrated Fall Entertaining

5 oz Animal Crackers
3 tbsp sugar
4 tbsp unsalted, butter, melted and warm

  1. Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and heat oven to 325 degrees.
  2. In food processor, process cookies to fine, even crumbs, about 30 seconds (you'll have about 1 cup). Add sugar and pulse two or three times to incorporate.
  3. Add warm melted butter in slow, steady stream while pulsing; pulse until mixture is evenly moistened and resembles wet sand, about ten 1-second pulses.
  4. Transfer mixture to 9-inch springform pan; using bottom of ramekin or dry measuring cup, press firmly and evenly into pan bottom, keeping sides as clean as possible.
  5. Bake until fragrant and golden brown, 15 to 18 minutes. Cool on wire rack to room temperature, about 30 minutes. When cool, wrap outside of pan with two 18-inch-square pieces heavy-duty foil.

Goat Cheese Cheesecake
From Whole Foods Market

2 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, cut into pieces
3 (4-ounce) packages fresh goat cheese, crumbled
2 teaspoons finely grated lemon zest
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups sugar
4 eggs

  1. Preheat to 325F.
  2. Place cream cheese, goat cheese, lemon zest, lemon juice and vanilla in a large mixing bowl. With an electric hand mixer, beat until just smooth, scraping down sides of the bowl as needed.
  3. In two or three additions, beat in sugar until mixture is creamy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating and scraping down sides of the bowl after each addition. Continue to beat until mixture is very smooth.
  4. Pour batter into prepared crust.
  5. Bake until edges of cheesecake look set and the center is still soft and slightly jiggly, 50 to 60 minutes.
  6. Place pan on a rack to cool completely in the pan. Then cover and refrigerate for at least 6 hours or overnight.

    Note: My cheesecake cracked on the one side. Instead of panicking, I sliced some figs, and covered the crack. Voila! Crisis averted!