Allegheny Chèvre is perfect for cheesecakes and custards. Baltimore chef and friend John Shields included a wonderful Allegheny Chèvre cheesecake in his cookbook Coastal Cooking and has served them in Gertrude's -- his restaurant at the Baltimore Museum of Art -- off and on for years. This beautiful tart uses a simple chèvre-custard filling, fresh rhubarb, and fresh spring cherries. It brought me back to Grossmutti Otilla's summer kitchen!
Begin by lining a 9-inch tart pan with a simple pastry crust. If you have the time, make it from scratch. More likely, you don't: Pablo and I have found the pre-made pie crusts in the refrigerator section of the market to be quite good, and there are a number of new all-natural brands. Pre-bake the crust in a 400 degree oven until just golden -- be careful not to overcook at this point; you don't want the edges to burn when the custard is baking. When you pull the crust out, drop the oven temperature to 350 degrees.
While the crust cools a bit, make the chèvre custard filling: whisk together 1 log of Allegheny Chèvre with half-cup milk, two eggs, a bit of vanilla extract and sugar. We've used anywhere between half and full cup of sugar depending on how sweet we want the tart. Last, whisk in the juice of half a lemon. Pour the custard mix into the pre-baked crust.
Now the fruit: slice the rhubarb just like you would a celery stalk -- about one quarter-inch thick. I used 3 good-sized stalks. Pit and halve the cherries. Mix the fruit together with a couple tablespoons of sugar -- just enough to coat the fruit -- then "sprinkle" the fruit evenly over the top of the tart.
"Sprinkle" the fruit evenly over the top of the tart.
Remove the cherry pits and halve the cherries.
Your mouth will be fully watering at this point. Pop the tart back into the 350 degree oven and bake for about 45 minutes. Check frequently during the final 15 -- you'll want to pull it out when the surface of the custard begins to brown about the edges and the smell throughout your kitchen is irresistible. That said: resist. Cool the tart in your fridge before you cut and serve. You be glad you waited: the custard develops a cheesecake texture, the flavors marry, and it cuts and serves beautifully. (The freezer works too if you must eat it fast...). Enjoy!