jen yee pastry


Sweet Cheese

For some reason, I always associate blueberries with cheesecake.   I don’t recall having it more often than any other blueberry dessert as a kid, so I don’t really know where the correlation comes from.   I do know, however, that when you pair the silkiest of cheesecakes with an awesome blueberry sauce, it can be heaven in your mouth.

This is my attempt at that celestial mouthful…and there isn’t a graham cracker crust in sight.  Instead, I’ve replaced the traditional with a “cremet”, an ethereally light mixture of cream cheese and crème fraiche lightened with meringue and drained overnight through cheesecloth.  Its sweet-floral notes come from the addition of elderflower syrup & liquor.  Blueberries make the sauce and a most intense pickled sorbet.  Toasted shreds of cornmeal cake add texture and a breath of warmth to this summer dessert.  A sprinkle each of fresh lemon thyme leaves and espellete pepper keep every bite as interesting as the last.

Sweet Cheese Cremet
About 10 portions

670 g  cream cheese at room temperature
690 g  creme fraiche

40 g   fresh lemon juice
10 g   vanilla extract
2 g    kosher salt
60 g   St. Germain elderflower liquor
20 g   elderflower syrup

230 g  pasteurized egg white

Line a perforated half hotel pan with a double layer of damp cheesecloth, allowing it to drape over the sides.  Place this pan over a solid half hotel.  Set aside.

Blend cream cheese & creme fraiche in a food processor until smooth, scraping sides of bowl.  While machine is running, stream in liquid flavorings.  Scrape the bowl down again and make sure this mixture is completely smooth.

Meanwhile, whip the egg whites to firm peaks.  Pour some of the liquid cheese mixture into the stiff whites, and fold to loosen. Pour in the remaining liquid and fold until homogeneous.  

Pour the cremet mixture into the lined pan and gently fold the cheesecloth over it to cover.  Wrap this in plastic and allow to rest in the fridge overnight.  Next day, gently peel away the cheesecloth from the surface and scoop about 3 ounce of cremet into a bowl and serve with blueberries or whatever fruit you have on hand.

Note:  Once the cremet has been set overnight, do not stir it.  When scooping, try to do this in one motion, allowing the pattern of the cheesecloth be part of the character of the cremet.

Serve within 2 days of making.