Goat Cheese Custard Recipe with Strawberries in Red Wine Syrup

When I moved to Paris, I moved a whole ton of stuff with me. Plus one yellowed scrap of paper. It was a recipe that I tore out of some newspaper eons ago, for Goat Cheese Custard.

goatcheesestrawberries

I had high hopes for the recipe, enough to schlep it with me across the Atlantic and look at it wistfully every once in a while, guarding it for almost a decade, until I finally got around to making it this week.

Unfortunately, good things don’t always come to those who wait, and the result was little pots of very stiff, leathery cheese, similar in texture to an overbaked cheesecake. I couldn’t imagine anyone liking this. Yet stubborn me loved the idea and thought I could lighten ‘er up enough to make a lovely, simple dessert along the same lines.

Because for reasons unbeknownst to me (sp?), I woke up and found a nearly-full bottle of Bordeaux on my kitchen counter that a group of us hadn’t managed to polish off the night before (how’d that happen?), which I reduced to a syrup for a topping. Once cool, I tossed in some first-of-the-season strawberries for the top of each creamy smooth little custard, which was absolutely delicious.

chevre

In France, our first berries come from points too-far south for me to trust. Their chunky girth makes me suspicious of their élevage. However with French berries clocking in at around $10/pound, each berry costs about a buck. I love my blog readers, so I splurged.

But you can also search out blackberries or raspberries, or if you live somewhere that blueberries are plentiful, by all means, use those. (And send me some; blueberries are astronomically expensive here.) When cherry season starts, I’m imagining my my cherry compote would work well, too.

I whizzed up fresh goat cheese from Poitou-Charentes, which is sold in pre-cut logs in French supermarkets, which are as easy as it is to find here as Kraft singles. I don’t normally buy cheese in the supermarket, but this kind of cheese is rarely available at the fromagerie, if at all, so I didn’t feel too guilty when I walked past their shop and waved, with a packet of chèvre tucked in my shopping basket. If you make this recipe, make sure to get a fresh goat cheese that’s creamy-soft, not the kind with a tough rind or dried-out in any way, meaning it’s aged.

milkvscream

If you can’t get fresh goat cheese in your area, or you’re one of those people who finds the taste funny, you may want to give it a spin with cream cheese. But I do urge you to give it a try with the goat cheese—if you like cheesecake, these taste like little pots of sweet, cheesy custard. Topped with berries, it’s one of the simplest summertime desserts that I’ve made.

Goat Cheese Custards with Strawberries in Red Wine Syrup
Makes 4 servings

I tried various permutations; milk, cream, and half-and-half, and either works fine. I bake these in small portions, and since the bulk of dessert is fruit, I feel little guilt indulging in the richness of cream, which, of course, yields the smoothest result. If you use milk, they’ll cook somewhat faster, so keep an eye on them. See note at the end for advice on ensuring a smooth end result.

  • 5 ounces (140g) fresh goat cheese, at room temperature
  • 1/4 cup (50g) sugar
  • 1/2 cup (120ml) milk, cream, or half-and-half
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla bean paste, or 1/8 teaspoon extract

1. Preheat the oven to 350F (175C).

2. Place four custard cups or ramekins in a deep baking dish or pan.

3. Blend together the goat cheese, sugar, milk (or cream), egg yolks, and vanilla for 30 seconds until very smooth.

4. Divide the mixture into the custard cups; each should be a bit more than half full.

5. Add warm tap water to the baking pan, to make a water bath for baking the custards. The water should reach to about halfway up the side of each custard cup.

6. Cover the pan with foil and bake for 15 to 20-minutes.

7. When done, remove the custards from the water bath and cool completely.

Storage & serving: Custards are best served at room temperature. They can be chilled up to two days in the refrigerator, covered with plastic wrap, then brought to room temperature prior to serving.

Note: Ovens can vary and custards are notoriously variable in their baking time. Bake them until they just stop quivering loosely when you jiggle the pan. Don’t overbake them; if you’re unsure, remove them from the oven before you think they’re done and let them rest covered with foil. That usually does the trick, and they’ll glide gently into baked-custard perfection.

Red Wine


B>Red Wine Syrup
Makes 4 servings

You could add a speck of cinnamon, black pepper or some seeds from a vanilla bean to this reduction. Just remember that it’s going to cook down, so add a very small amount. This is also a good way to use up leftover poaching liquid from fruit.

1/2 cup (125ml) red wine
3 tablespoons (50g) sugar
1/2 to 1 small basket of strawberries (about 4 ounces, 100g)

1. In a non-reactive skillet, cook the red wine and sugar until the bubbles get thick (see photo above.)

Once the syrup is reduced to half its original quantity (1/4 cup, 60ml), remove from heat and scrape into a bowl to cool completely.

2. Rinse, hull, and slice strawberries. Toss in syrup, let stand for a minute to two, then spoon onto custards.



Related Posts

Goat Cheese Soufflés

How to Poach Pears

Baked Goat Cheese

Red Wine-Poached Rhubarb

Cherries in Red Wine Syrup

36 comments

  • This looks luscious. I just bought some tiny custard cups from IKEA and now I know what I’m going to make in them. I think I’ll also make meringues from the remaining egg whites. Thanks for re-working the recipe David!

  • David,
    Looks great, bet it tastes better! I love goat cheese and when I worked with a Chef years ago we used to do strawberry soup with wine served with Belgian waffles and marscapone ice cream, I bet goat cheese ice cream would taste great!

  • These look wonderful. And yes, this blog reader appreciates what it took to get those strawberries. They’re beautiful. As soon as local strawberries are at the St. Paul Farmers Market, I’ll be making this!

  • Very similar to here.

    I think the goat cheese would make a better mousse than custard…

  • Sara: That is an interesting recipe, although it’s a savory spread for crostini. Still, it’s a good idea worth trying.

    Mary: Glad you’re happy I re-worked it. : )

    Just noticed the original recipe had almost 1/2 cup sugar per servings. Holy mother of sweetness! Still, there’s something nostalgic about that newspaper clipping and I tried to toss it away, but I couldn’t!

    Jeremy: I used to live near a goat dairy and they made the best strawberry ice cream with the milk. I have a goat cheese ice cream in my book, but it’s hard to find good goat milk here. All of it has been sterilized so it tastes like absolutely nothing. Perhaps outside of Paris, in the countryside, it’s available. Next summer I’m going to try and track some down.

    Eileen: They were surprised when I asked if I could only buy two berries (…it was a no-go)..but I did put the rest of the basket to good use with my yogurt this morning…

  • Goat cheese is but a faint memory (damn food allergies) but that lovely Red Wine Syrup? Now you’re talkin’.

  • This looks like one of those recipes that becomes an entertaining staple — relatively simple, with perfect, fresh ingredients (and ones I can manage on a 100-mile diet, here on Vancouver Island) yet sophisticated enough thanks to the goat cheese and the wine syrup.

  • Oh! That looks so fantastically good!…

  • Oh I’m so excited. I just had a goats cheese custard last week and was going to start looking for a recipe. Yay. My search is over before it started. They served it with a blackberry sauce. I refrained my licking my plate, but I’ll be able to do that if I can make it at home!

  • You aren’t kidding about the price of strawberries here in Paris. I envy you for the courage to ask for only 2! Lovely recipe, exactly my kind of dessert.

  • so grateful that you splurged on strawberries for us, although now we will all have to go out and spend a small fortune on our own because this sounds too good to miss out on!

  • Wow – goat cheese custard? I have never heard of such a thing. Could be really good!

  • Fingers crossed I can find some fresh goat cheese tomorrow, this will be perfect with some of our wild brambles, thanks David

  • Do you know what you’ve just done?

    You’ve given me a reason to have wine and cheese for breakfast!

    (According to International Breakfast Law 11.02, leftover dessert may be considered breakfast. Any dessert made the previous day, regardless of intended serving time, may be considered leftover.)

  • Hola- again. Thanks for the ice cream maker tip today (I’m on Twitter). I just ordered a donut baking pan and a reconditioned ice cream maker thru your link. Blueberry donuts and hemp ice cream are in my future. (Chocolate covered bacon hemp gelato?)

  • I haven’t even read the whole post and I am promptly bookmarking this page. Thank you for doing loads of experimenting.

    Today I spent 30 minutes weighing various sugars and leaveners in grams and ounces by way of tea and Tablespoon measurements. Few people know what fun we have…

  • I love goat cheese and as a dessert this recipe sounds so nice. I love the idea of reducing the red wine into a sauce as well. I’ve done that with balsamic vinegar but it never occurred to me to try it with red wine! (And thank you for so graciously going out of your way to buy strawberries for us :-) )

  • Oh, wow! That really looks elegant and delicious. I love the tang that you get from goat cheese. I recently discovered goat milk butter too. It’s my new “crush”!

  • Fresh goat cheese is a delight (and your custard sounds dreamy), but I must admit I haven’t tried it in desserts yet. Thanks for the inspiration!!

  • luscious. i just did balsamic strawberries with mascarpone, and now i’m loving the idea of the fresh goat – sweet berries and tangy cheese, yum.

  • This sounds like a really interesting treat. I love goat cheese but have never used it in dessert form, only having first been exposed to it in The Perfect Scoop (which I finally picked up last week–about time! I’m looking forward to trying out as much as I can).

    I’ll have to give this a shot soon…plus, its almost blueberry season here, so maybe I’ll luck out!

  • That’s a gorgeous dessert. Even here down south strawberries are expensive, although I’ve been able to get garriguettes and mara des bois already that were very good.

    Would you tell me exactly what brand of cheese you used? I don’t remember seeing goat cheese logs here.

  • Abra: Don’t recall the exact brand & I tossed the package. But it’s the soft goat cheese available in most supermarkets, sold in twin packs; two logs pre-cut into slices, similar to the ones in the photo.

    The strawberries will drop in price, but not much, I’m afraid.

  • ouh, i’d love this with a fig sauce and nuts.

  • I went to Zabar’s in NY for a five oz log of what said chevre (imported from France) and it turned out to have the consistency of brie when I opened it, with the flour edges, etc. It tasted like brie but milder. Is that weird?

  • Oh – this looks divine! I’ll be trying this.

  • Great recipe. I used wild huckleberries instead of the strawberries and that was amazing. Thanks

  • This recipe sounds amazing! Do you think it could be adapted into a tart?

  • Custard is in the oven. I have leftover wine and strawberries. Thanks for what I expect to be a perfect dessert with what I already had on hand. In the southern US, strawberries are not quite as dear (in price) as in Paris, of course. I buy weekly when in season,

  • Believe it or not, with only 5 ingredients iny our goat cheese custard, I managed to screw up your recipe. The batter tasted great, but it was unbake-able and unsalvageable, so I blamed it on the tequila and wrote about it on my blog (http://pharmafoodie.blogspot.com/2010/07/im-blaming-tequila.html#comments). I will definitely try to make it again though!

  • aileen: As you discovered, if you add an excessive amount of liquor (or acid) to custards, they’ll break—which is how cheese is made. Do try it again with out the tequila, and perhaps you can use that to marinate the strawberries, and add a nice squirt of lime juice & salt on the side ; )

  • Made these on the weekend and they were outstanding. Thanks for yet another amazing recipe!

  • I guess I should finally comment on this puppy, seeing as I make these every couple weeks. I LOVE them! Finally a custardy dessert with a bit more earth to it. I change the sauce seasonally–last night’s champagne will get a new kick topping these with pears tonight. Thank you for sharing!

  • I decided to make a 1.5 recipe of this to use up 3 egg yolks and 7 ounces of chevre I had in my fridge. All my ramekins are out of commission at the moment so I decided to sacrifice presentation and bake it in a single dish so i could have this for desert tonight –ended up with a thin, almost watery batter that tasted like heaven. I must have baked the thing for over an hour before it finally started to set, and I left it to cool on the counter where it firmed up into a nice, delicately textured custard that was wonderful with sliced strawberries and a dash of balsamic. Lovely recipe!

  • this looks insane. i’d really love to scale this up and bake it in a larger dish to serve as a thanksgiving dessert with your roasted figs (because making individual ramekins wouldn’t be practical when feeding a crowd). do you have suggestions? would it not bake evenly in a larger pan?

    thank you!

  • je: I haven’t made it in a larger dish but folks do bake custards like flan in 2-quart molds. You would likely have to scoop it out rather than unmold this as it’s softer than a flan but if you give it a try let me know how it turns out.