Cheesecake - made a different way. Goat & cottage cheese tartelettes with rum raisins.
My trip to France.....
I once traveled through France with my parents back in the late 70's and we passed a bakery somewhere in a little town near the Atlantic Ocean. I have always been a fan of good pastries- being born and raised in Germany one has lots of choices going to a bakery! But this French pastry caught my eye- it was small, individual size, and it looked like a little quiche - just it was a "cheese-cake-thingy". I had asked if I could get one - it was expensive at the time since it was something the master pastry maker had made - but my Dad refused. So until today I still don't know what I may have missed but I wanted to make something like this for me, something individually small with a flaky crust and cheesy inside!
So I searched for good recipes. My Mom makes cheese cake in Germany with 2.5lb quark - which is made from fresh milk and has a very slightly tangy taste, comes in 40% fat, 20% fat or low fat which is what is used for baking or you can eat it with boiled potatoes, mixed with some fresh herbs..... mouth watering......
Since quark is not made here I have settled for cottage cheese, that I ran through a mixer to get rid of the curd bits. Although cottage cheese has salt included - and I wanted a fresh flavor - I find it was better than cream cheese. As second ingredient I choose fresh goat cheese...... I like the smell of goat, especially since I meet some almost every day on my walk with the dog. Sometimes they get excited to meet us - sometimes they don't want to see us at all. But they smell lovely.... and so do these little tartelettes.
I use lemon zest in this recipe - shop for unwaxed lemons or remove the wax before you zest them (water and baking soda- brush them well).
I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I do! One more tip - I would make a batch but would have lots of "left over". I would freeze these in layers in a container, the tarteletts separated with parchment paper. They will defrost on your counter within 1-2 hours (depending how cold your kitchen is) and will taste even "cheesier" once they are defrosted versus fresh ones!
Tarteletts baked in a large muffin tray
Goat & Cottage Cheese Tarteletts
- 300g all purpose flour, choose the unbleached kind
- 120g sugar for the short crust
- 2 teaspoon baking powder, choose aluminum free
- 2 egg yolks for the short crust
- 50-60g ice water
- 130g cold butter, cut in cubes
- 400g cottage cheese, blended or mixed so you don't have the curds
- 300g fresh goat cheese
- 130g sugar for the filling
- 4 egg yolks for the filling
- 4 egg whites, beaten
- 60g tapioca flour
- zest of one lemon
- juice of 1 lemon
- 3 tablespoons rum raisins, optional
The baking pans.
I have made some in a large muffin tin- 6 to be precise- but because I only had one large muffin tin I settled for some individual large silicone muffin cups as well. Choose what ever you have on hand- the small or mini muffins would be too small as you want a tartelett and not a miniature bite.The tin gives you a darker crust while the silicone cups bake a lighter crust.
Tarteletts baked in a silicone muffin cup
Shortcrust & cheese filling
- To prepare the shortcrust mix the 2 egg yolks, sugar and butter on high speed until you have a creamy consistency.
- Add the sifted flour & baking powder and mix on low speed, add little ice water at a time until the dough comes together and forms a ball.
- Wrap the dough in cling foil and refrigerate while you prepare the filling.
- To make the cheese filling mix the fresh goat cheese and the smooth cottage cheese along with the sugar and 4 egg yolks on high speed to a smooth consistency. Add the lemon juice, lemon zest and the tapioca flour and mix on low speed until incorporated. Add the rum raisins if desired.
- Meanwhile beat the egg whites until stiff peaks form. Fold the egg whites little by little with a spatula into the cheese mixture - do not overmix.
- Take the refrigerated short crust dough and roll it out on a slightly floured surface to about 3mm or 1/8" thickness. Use a large biscuit cutter for the size of the tarteletts and place into a buttered or oiled large muffin tray.
- Fill the cheese filling into the muffin tray and bake at 175°C or 350°F (convection oven) for around 24-26 minutes. Once desired color is reached and time is up remove the tray from the oven and wait for about 10 minutes - remove the tarteletts with a knife. They should come out easy as the shortcrust holds them together. Let cool on a baking rack.
From shortcrust to tartelette....Click thumbnail to view full-size
When can I eat them......?
They taste best when cooled and refrigerated for 1-2 hours.