Goat Cheesecake with a Pistachio Crust

You know what I enjoy? Adaptations. Alterations. Taking an overused concept and transforming it into some distinct but parallel form.

If anything, I think it’s in our nature. It’s sort of like how everyday, I’ll change one small thing about my routine, just to force myself into some new conditions, under which I’m forced to reconsider what I’ve previously accepted. It can take the form of me doing everything with my non-dominant hand, or taking a different road on my way to work, or trying to write journal entries in a voice that I’ve never used before. It’s simply an exercise in reconditioning my brain to adapt to, and integrate, new experience.

In life, as in baking, adaptation is always useful. I have a number of qualms with traditional cheesecakes:

-the filling is too dang heavy
-the crust is too dang boring, and
-the flavor pairings are too dang simple

I assure you, this cheesecake falls under none of these categories. The filling is a rich, tangy goat cheese, augmented with fat free cream cheese, so you get the full flavor without the overly full feelings afterwards. The crust? A coarse crumble of toasted pistachio. Atop the whole thing sits a honey drizzle, perfectly sweetening and accenting each slice. Ah, the wonders of adaptation.

Goat Cheesecake with Pistachio Crust

Crust- Ingredients
2 cups pistachios, unsalted
1/3 cup sugar
2 tsp almond extract
5 tb unsalted butter, cubed

Pulse pistachios in food processor until crumby but with some larger pieces intact. Add in sugar and almond extract, and give a few quick pulses. Add in cubed butter, all at once, and pulse until combined.

Press crust into springform pan, using the base of a measuring cup to flatten and press against sides. Poke a few holes in crust bottom, and bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes. Let cool completely before filling.

(adapted from Dash of East)
12 ounces goat cheese
12 ounces fat free cream cheese*
1 tsp lemon juice
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup sugar
2 eggs

Combine goat cheese and cream cheese in food processor, and mix until smooth and creamy. Add in lemon juice, vanilla, and sugar, and pulse until combined. Last add eggs, one at a time, pulsing between additions until fully incorporated.

Pour filling into cooled crust. Place springform in pan with 1 inch of water, reaching about halfway up the side of the springform. Bake at 325 degrees for 50 minutes. When done, turn off oven with the door cracked a few inches to cool evenly and prevent top from cracking. When cheesecake is room temperature, let cool in fridge for at least two hours. Drizzle with honey before serving.

*You could certainly use regular cream cheese, though I think that would make this already dense cheesecake a tad heavy.

Lately I’ve been really utilizing my Netflix Instant Watch. So it should come as no surprise that I recommend curling up on a couch at 3 am with this cheesecake and watching something… eerie. Maybe it’s the juxtaposition of comfort food and unsettling television, but they do pair well, I swear. Maybe some Twin Peaks, or X-Files, or this strange but promising Chinese horror film.

Happy nomming,


22 responses to “Goat Cheesecake with a Pistachio Crust

  1. This looks delicious. I certainly agree with the fact that traditional cheesecake is too heavy and too boring. I love the idea of combining goat cheese with pistachios. Maybe goat cheese with some cranberries in the batter would be good as well. And I’ve been recently watching x-files all over again!

  2. OMG, this sounds heavenly! Pinning it for future nomming!

  3. Love the pistachio crust!

  4. Pingback: Goat Cheesecake with Pistachio Crust | *bespoke* zine

  5. What size springform pan did you use? Just curious as I haven’t bought one before and this recipe has made me reconsider!

  6. One other question… were the pistachios you used roasted or raw?

  7. Pingback: Featured Food Blog: Boy & the Rabbit | Yummly

  8. So I made not one but two of these one day after the other… my family and friends (and me of course!) LOVED this recipe. I’m going to surprise my girlfriend with this for her birthday (she is also a cheesecake lover!). On a related note… would you say a strawberry balsamic compote would work well as a topping? or should I stick with the honey?

    • I think a strawberry compote would be absolutely delicious, but you’re going to want to be careful with the balsamic. The addition of goat cheese already makes this dessert more tangy than most people are used to, and a balsamic topping might just be too bitter for most palates. I’d stick with sweet toppings, maybe make a strawberry and honey compote? Let me know what you try and how it works! And I’m glad you like the recipe enough to make multiples ;)

  9. Ok, I thought about the tang factor that’s why I asked! Strawberry and honey compote sounds like a great alternative! Thanks again! :D

  10. My heart just melted!! The cake looks beautiful and my word that crust looks scrumptious :)

  11. i do mine purely with goat cheese and strawbery jam, meruinge whites so the texture stays light and basicly like a ricota tart, but i filnd a couple of table spoons added flour only encrease the lovley spongy texture, hope i didn’t make a load of spelling mistakes as my mother tounge belonges to another group of languages…

  12. I was looking for something like this and hope to adapt it now! But would you be using this now that you are on a vegan track? How would you adapt it without sugar, or maybe that would not be a problem for you. My husband does not eat anything with sugar or cow’s milk, so that’s what led me to this. I think I’ll play around with it and I’ll let you know!

  13. I’ve had this recipie saved for months till I could find a suitable time to make it. It’s in the oven now, and the anticipation is killing me…

  14. I’m finally making this! We have a couple goats for our dairy needs (Nigerian Dwarf Goats- tiny goats that make amazing sweet milk!) I will be using a lite cream cheese that is made from goat milk too (since that’s all we have). The eggs are from our backyard too- next year I might have to figure out how to make a black walnut and hazelnut crust since that’s the only home grown nut options we have at the moment! We purchased pistachios for this -well worth the price!

  15. I have made this at least a handful of times and it is always a winner!!

  16. Pingback: Goat Cheesecake with Pistachio Crust | *bespoke* magazine australia

  17. This truly is the best cake I have ever eaten! I made it for a friend who is an excellent cook and baker and we agreed it was a best cake ever. I served topped with sliced fresh figs and honey. I used raw unsalted pistachios (the only place I could find them was Trader Joe’s) and the crust retained a beautiful green color. The Almond extract was a little strong–next time I’ll use a pinch less. We ate the cake for four days–one slice after almost every meal. Thanks for the recipe!!

  18. Hi Danny!
    I just discovered your blog and am bookmarking it! Good job on a beautiful project and keep the yummy recipes coming! I’m vegan part time and love the recipes you’re turning up, but when I’m not, I will be nomming on this fancy pants and delish goat cheesecake with pistachio crust!

  19. I made this at least 3 times and it always a hit. I had forgotten about it until my cousin last week begged me to bring it for Thanksgiving this year, so excited to enjoy again!

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