This is my friend Leandra. It was her birthday last week, and, once again, I volunteered (read: bulldozed) my services to make a cake. Except making a cake for Leandra is slightly difficult as she is allergic to cow's milk protein. It's a relatively unknown allergy-- most people hear 'allergic to dairy' and think that it's the lactose, so most people in the natural health community would recommend drinking raw milk. Except for poeple with a milk protein allergy it doesn't matter what kind of milk they drink, because it all contains casein.
Needless to say, Leandra didn't want to eat a casein infested birthday cake because, well, I'm not going into it here. But I will say that I wish more people with allergies were more like this woman, who is, quite possibly, the easiest going person I've ever met. In fact, I've never once seen her kick up a fuss in public. I've never once seen her complain about anything. If there's something she doesn't want to eat, she just doesn't eat it, and for the most part, nobody ever finds out why. Which, living in Los Angeles where everybody wants to tell you why they're eating what they're eating, and why they won't or can't eat what they can't eat, is most refreshing. Not only THAT, but she can whip together a three course meal without breaking a sweat or having a headless-chicken-moment, and still look like a supermodel when it's ready. Compare to my headless-chicken, need a drink at 530pm, emerge from kitchen hot and sweaty and smelling less than desirable and you can see why this easy-going attitude can be found admirable. Yes. Leandra is cool as shit.
I had just read about this TOURTEAU DE CHEVRE in Dorie Greenspan's new book (I promise that one of these days I won't go on and on about DG so much) and with a simple tweak to my favourite tart crust recipe, the entire thing was casein free.
Whether you make the crust with regular or goat butter (because I've now tried both), let me just say this:
15 people. Ten minutes. All completely gone.
It was that good.
Tourteau de Chevre
From Dorie Greenspan's Around My French Table
Serves up to 15, as it turns out.
1 part SWEET TART CRUST, substituting goat butter for regular if you want it to be casein free.
5 eggs, separated, at room temp
1/4 tsp salt
2/3 cup sugar
9 oz goat cheese
3 tb cornstarch
1/2 tsp vanilla
Preheat the oven to 400. Roll out the tart dough, and line the bottom of a 9" springform pan, so that the pastry comes about halfway up the sides. Place the pastry-lined pan in the fridge.
Whisk up the egg whites until they form soft peaks, add 2 tb of the sugar and whisk another few seconds, then set aside. If using a mixer, switch to the paddle attachment (if not using a mixer, beat in a bowl) and throw in the goat cheese, the rest of the sugar, egg yolks, vanilla, salt and cornstarch. Beat until thick and creamy with no lumps-- a couple of minutes. Slowly start to fold in the egg whites, a third at a time. Do not over fold. When mixed together (and after a taste because it's basically like a goat cheese mousse, and who can resist a spoonful of that?) scrape the contents of the bowl into the pan with the pastry.
Bake for 15 minutes at 400, then turn the oven down to 350 and bake another 35 minutes or so, until the top cracks, and a knife inserted comes out clean.
I decorated it with strawberries, but it's not at all necessary...
This post has been shared at Fight back Friday.