Celebrity Dairy Cheesecake
by Peter McCloskey (Panzanella Chef)

This crust-optional cheesecake was a favorite at a past Local Dinner.

Ingredients:
2.5 Pounds Goat Cheese Curd* (You can get this from Celebrity Dairy at the Carrboro Farmers' Market)
2.5 Cups Sugar
5 Whole Eggs
The Zest and Juice from 2 Lemons and 1 Orange
Tsp of finely chopped fresh Rosemary
Pinch of Salt

*Alternative to Goat Cheese Curd:
1.5 pounds of regular goat cheese (chevre)
8 ounces of mascarpone
8 ounces of cream cheese

1. Soften the cheese to room temperature.
2. With a paddle mixer (or a heavy hand whip and strong arm) cream the cheese and sugar until completely smooth.
3. Next, add the eggs, one by one, until thoroughly incorporated. The batter should look smooth, shiny and light. It's important not to over whip, so keep your mixer at a low speed.
4. Add the rest of the ingredients last and mix just to incorporate.

Pour the batter into a 9" spring form pan (the bottom lined with buttered parchment paper) and wrap the outside with tinfoil to create a waterproof seal. Place in a water bath (water 1" up the sides of the pan) and bake at 325 degrees for about 45 minutes to an hour. When it's finished it will feel delicate but solid.

Serve with Blackberry Compote
1 cup of a good merlot
1/2 cup sugar
Juniper Berry (about 2 or 3) {optional}
1 or 2 Star Anise
1 pint Blackberries

Combine first four ingredients in a saucepan and reduce over medium heat to a light syrup. Pour over blackberries. Let sit and macerate before adding to cheesecake just prior to serving.