Edible Bozeman

Not Another New York Cheesecake

Chef Allison Fasano isn’t a pastry chef. At least that’s what she said during the Winter issue photo shoot. But after tasting this incredible cheesecake, I think she could reconsider the moniker. Made with locally crafted Amaltheia Dairy chèvre goat cheese and rye flour, there’s nothing New York about this deliciously Montana-infused dessert.


For the crust:

¾ cup all-purpose flour, plus more for work surface
½ cup rye flour
½ teaspoon kosher salt
½ teaspoon sugar
½ cup cold unsalted butter, cut into cubes, plus more for pan
1 tablespoon chilled apple cider vinegar
3 tablespoons ice water

For the filling:

8 ounces chèvre goat cheese, room temperature
8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
½ cup honey
¼ cup sugar
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
3 large eggs, room temperature
½ cup whole milk

For the pear topping:

5 Asian pears
2 cups salted butter
½ cup sugar

Mix ¾ cup all-purpose flour, rye flour, salt, and sugar in a large bowl. Add ½ cup butter and rub into dry ingredients with your fingertips until mixture resembles coarse breadcrumbs; it’s OK if some larger, flat pieces of butter remain. Add vinegar and ice water. Mix with a spoon until a rough dough forms, adding more water by the tablespoon if it seems dry. (Alternatively, dough can be made in a food processor.)

Arrange rack in bottom third of oven; place a rimmed baking sheet on the rack. Preheat to 375°F. Grease a 9-inch pie pan with butter. On a lightly floured surface, roll out dough to a 13-inch round. Roll it loosely around the rolling pin, then unfurl into pan. Gently settle the dough then trim excess with scissors, leaving a 1-inch overhang around the lip of the pan. Crimp as desired.

Line the shell with parchment paper and fill with pie weights, rice, or beans. Place on the preheated baking sheet and bake until the crust is set and beginning to brown, 20–25 minutes.

Remove weights and parchment, prick bottom of crust all over with a fork, then continue to bake until crust is golden brown and dry to the touch, 5–10 more minutes. Transfer pie pan to a cooling rack to cool slightly; return baking sheet to oven.

Reduce oven temperature to 350°. Beat chèvre and cream cheese in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment until incorporated. Add honey, sugar, and vanilla and continue to beat on medium speed until creamy. Add eggs 1 at a time, beating on low speed until incorporated. Add milk and beat on low until incorporated.

Pour filling into pie shell, return to preheated baking sheet, and bake until filling is mostly set but center jiggles slightly, 35–40 minutes. Shut oven off, crack open the door, and leave the cheesecake inside to continue cooking for 20 minutes.

While the cheesecake finishes, slice pears ¼-inch thick. Place butter in a small saucepan over medium heat and allow to melt and brown (about 7–10 minutes). Lightly browned specks will begin to form at the bottom of the pan and the butter will emit a nutty aroma. Add sugar and pear slices. Cook for about 15 minutes, until the pears are soft.

Allow pears to cool, then serve on top of the cheesecake. Enjoy after chilling in the fridge, or at room temperature.

Wine Pairing

Affinitas Furmint Tokaj, Hungary

I just love the versatility of white wines with spicy, floral notes, acidity, and a long mineral-laced finish. Wines like the Tokaj made from the Furmint grape are blended with other regional varietals into some of the longest-aging and thus complex white wines in the world. The dry style like this Affinitas bottling is made mostly in stainless steel tanks to preserve its fresh, crisp, citrus-dominated flavors. This wine should cut through a savory winter salad. (But keep a little in your glass to pair with our cheesecake because it’s sublime with caramelized pear.)

Available at Vino per Tutti in Bozeman. $19

Recommendation by Norm Page, sommelier at The WineTrust, Bozeman.

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