I recently received some fresh Chevre goat cheese from my friend's goat farm in California. I don't get this but once a year so I want to make some special goodies with it. I made pineapple cheesecake granola squares. Goat cheese does have about the same fat content as cow's milk but, it has a little more protein and is easier to digest. I am also aware of how the goats were raised and what they have been fed. That's important to me when using dairy products.
I have been thinking about a pineapple cheesecake I used to eat as a child. I thought I would see what I could do with this idea in a healthy way. This is something I came up with in my imagination so it's not too refined. It's a variation of two recipes, Kashi blackberry bars and the filling from a vegan cheesecake recipe from one of my favorite vegan cookbooks, Vegan World Fusion Cuisine from Blossoming Lotus.
I used the Kashi recipe for the crust and local honey for this recipe. Instead of using blackberries, I cut up a whole pineapple and a whole orange and put the chunks in a saucepan with about 1/2 cup cranberry juice. I just happened to have a little cranberry juice and thought it would add a nice flavor to the mixture. I didn't add any additional sweetener to the fruit. I simmered the fruit on low to medium heat until they were juicy and could be mashed a bit. I drained the fruit and whisked in about a tablespoon of corn starch and a tablespoon of lemon juice. I put this mixture back in the saucepan with the fruit and simmered it for about three to five minutes. I thought about using Agar for the fruit mixture, but I haven't baked with Agar yet and I was already adding quite a few variables to this creation.
Meanwhile, while the crust was baking for 15 minutes, I made a cream cheese filling with the goat cheese. I used eight ounces of goat cheese and eight ounces of firm tofu. I don't use tofu too much, but in this case, it acts like cream cheese, cuts the animal fat a bit and adds protein. I put them in a blender with:
1/2 cup turbinado (Sucanat) sugar
1/4 cup almond milk, unsweetened
1/4 cup pure maple syrup
11/2 TB fresh lemon juice
2 TB nutritional yeast
1 1/2 TB arrowroot
1 TB vanilla
1/4 tsp sea salt
I blended this all together until it was creamy.
I poured the cooled pineapple/orange mixture over the cooled granola crust, then the cream cheese mixture on top of the fruit. I saved a third of the granola mixture to put on top of the cream cheese. Then baked it for about 10-15 minutes until the top crust is golden brown. You could just put it in the refrigerator to set as the ingredients are all cooked already. But, I like a nice crunchy topping.
It didn't come with a nice layered look as I had hoped, but it's a nice whole grain, fresh, decadent tasting dessert made with fresh ingredients.