The Gourmande who was afraid of cheesecakes

October 30th, 2007 § 0 comments

Once upon a time, there was a lazy gourmande who loved cooking for the sake of gourmandise, entertaining loved ones and experimenting flavours. She was lazy but curious: she’d love trying new  ingredients, experimenting new techniques… In the kitchen, she could be very daring when she felt like it; she was not scared of getting dirty hands when it came to manipulating meat or fish; she loved trying rare ingredients she had never heard of before. Yet, she was cursed with a ridiculous fear for certain dishes and ingredients, mostly those she particularly cherished: macarons, pastillas, preserves,  cheesecakes, and many others. Some involved relatively complex techniques for a beginner, some where outrageously simple. It didn’t matter, she could crave for them, fantasize for years about creating them out of her own hands… she would always find an evasive reason not to cook them. You got it: our lazy gourmande could get extremely insecure in her kitchen.

And then, she starting blogging!  After intense blog therapy, she slowly managed to overcome one of her fears, opening the door to a whole new world of cooking sensations. A couple of weeks ago, she made another huge step towards recovery: shocked by the sudden defrosting of the precious contents of her brand new freezer, stigmatized by the urge of saving as much as could be saved, she baked a cheesecake, a “tarte au fromage blanc*”!  So simple… She blushed remembering her fear, she blushed out of satisfaction.


Tarte au fromage blanc*

serves 8
prep: 10 min cook: 10+30 min

1 shortcrust (~350g)
350 g ‘fromage blanc’ (Greek yoghurt or dutch kwark will do too)
10 cl liquid cream
5 cl milk
3 eggs, beaten
50g Maizena
4 Tsp sugar (or more if you have a sweet tooth)
1 pinch of salt
zest of 1 lemon
2 Tsp raisins soaked in alcohol** or warm tea

Preheat the oven at 180 deg C.Line the short crust in a spring mould (at least 5 cm deep) and bake blind *** for 10 min. Reserve.
Delay the maizena with the milk. Pour into a blender. Add the fromage blanc, liquid cream, eggs, sugar, and vanilla and blend until smooth. Then stir in the lemon zest and raisins and pour in the tart shell. Bake for 30 min until golden. Leave to cool at room temperature. Enjoy with friends on late sunday afternoons with a hot cup of your favourite tea.

Bon appetit!

*   “Fromage blanc” is a typical french dairy product. A cross between thick yoghurt and creamcheese. The low fat version has become very popular as a replacement for cream in low-fat recipes. In holland the equivalent is Kwark,  you can replace it with greek yoghurt.
**   I used the dutch ‘boerenjongens’ -literally ‘farmer boys’- which are raisins marinated in Jenever.
*** Indicates baking a pastry dough without a filling (“cuire a blanc” in french). Prick the shell all over with a fork to prevent rising and line some baking foil over the dough. Fill with dry beans to prevent the pastry dough to retract. Remove the foil and beans after 5 min to allow coloring.

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