Fig Goat Cheese Cake
By Beth P. Heiserman
In previous articles, I have mentioned about the history of a port-style wine, and single varietal ports, but not all the styles of a port-style wine. Solera is a process for different beverages like port wine. Some whiskeys can also be processed in this fashion. It is a process of blending in such a way that the finished creation is a mixture of a port style wine from different vintages, with the average age that continues as every year, as a new vintage is added every year. Historically, it refers to the lower level of barrels used in the method. The wine would be moved from barrel to barrel, top to bottom, the oldest blend being in the barrel on the bottom. No barrel is ever completely depleted, so some of the earlier wine always remains in each barrel. Winemakers will leave a small quantity in each barrel, but there can be substantial traces of the wine depending upon the amount that was removed from each barrel. In theory traces of the very first batch placed in the solera should be present even after 20 years of this process.
Reyes Winery’s 12-year-old Agua Dulce Delight is a recognition of craftsmanship. After a decade of care and slow oak maturation, we have bottled this amazing example of complex flavors and artistry port-style dessert wine. This is for those who appreciate quality and every component of wine. It has aromas of fresh figs and orange blossom honey. This blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Syrah was aged in French oak barrels where overtime it acquired its sophisticated notes and caramel, dates, and a hint of chocolate. A unique blend of award-winning wines was set aside at Reyes Winery to create this complex full-bodied old-world style wine. Its rich spice and fruit notes have continued to evolve. This exceptional wine has a smooth, silky texture and subtle oak nuances that deliver a long elegant finish.
This past week, I wrote about that we bottled our 12-year-old Agua Dulce Delight. I had mentioned many food pairings and one was the fig goat cheese cake. I experimented over the weekend. The first one I did, needed more fig and sugar. I wasn’t sure if I wanted it like a dessert or like a cheese course. This recipe is somewhat in between. I did make this for a Passover appetizer. I substituted the flour for cake meal. Matzoh makes the best crust, since it doesn’t have a lot of flavor, it allows the cheesecake to shine. Enjoy this cheesecake with 12-year-old Reyes Winery’s Agua Dulce Delight.
8oz cream cheese, softened
1 cup sour cream
1 tsp cardamom
¼ cup of flour (gluten free flour works well)
8oz goat cheese
½ cup fig butter
¾ cup of sugar
¾ cup of crushed crackers (2 packages of crackers- I used Matzoh)
½ cup pecans, crushed into meal
¼ cup unsalted butter, melted
- Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.
- In the bowl of a food processor, combine crackers, pecans and melted butter and process until thoroughly combined. My food processor had burned out recently and I have used a large ziplock bag and added the ingredients and used a mallet. I think that was more fun. Press the mixture on the bottom and partially up the sides of an 8-inch springform pan. You can also make it in a pie pan. Set aside.
- In a mixing bowl combine goat cheese, cream cheese, sugar, flour and sour cream.
- Mix until smooth.
- Add eggs. Mix until combined.
- Fold in fig butter.
- Place mixture into a pan sprayed with Pam.
- Bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour, until the cake is golden brown and not loose in the center.
- Chill and then serve with the 12-year old Reyes Winery Agua Dulce Delight.