Capriole Goat Cheese: Judith Schad

Judith Schad is the owner of Capriole, an Indiana- based maker of artisanal goat cheeses. Capriole has been making their chevre by hand for over 30 years, using milk from their own herd of Alpine, Saanen and Nubian dairy goats. Schad’s farming philosophy centers around herd health, longevity and productivity, and her focus on sustainable free-farming flows into the Capriole’s cheese making process. “We make our cheese in much the same way, through observation and, always through the vehicle of taste, for without taste, the rest becomes trivial.” Schad took a few moments to share more about Capriole with Urban Epicurean.

UE: How is chevre different from cow’s milk or sheep’s milk cheese, in terms of flavor and texture?
Schad: The flavor of goat cheese is a little sweeter, and the texture is much finer, much silkier.

UE: What is the difference between fresh, surface-ripened and aged cheeses?
Schad: Fresh is only a few days old, lactic, creamy, lemony and a little like cream cheese but much lighter and lower in calories, fat, and cholesterol. It’s great as an ingredient. Surface-ripened cheeses are essentially fresh ones that go into a cave environment where they grow a wrinkly, white mold rind. These two categories are by law, pasteurized. The aged, raw milk cheeses are made by an entirely different process, are higher in fat and calories, and hold up better over time. They are also cave aged to develop a natural rind

UE: What are some good pairings with goat cheese, both in terms of food and drink?
Schad : Some of the pairings I enjoy include O’Banon (a hand-ladled fresh chevre aged in chestnut leaves and marinated in bourbon) with champagne;fresh goat cheese with sauvignon blanc; and Julianna (a buttery tomme aged under a white mold and herbed wine) with a zin or cote du Rhone.

UE: Do you have a particular favorite recipe or preparation using goat cheese?
Schad : We have many recipes on our website, but I particularly love goat cheese and beets. This tart recipe pairs well with salad greens and also makes a delicious side dish to grilled chops.

Toasted Beet, Fresh Goat Cheese and Pistachio Tart
Tart Crust
1 1/2 C flour
1/2 t salt
1 t fresh thyme, minced
8 T butter, cut into bits and frozen
4 T ice water

3 small fresh beets
1 T olive oil
Kosher salt
Fresh-ground black pepper
1 T unsalted butter
1 medium onion
2 T dry white wine
3 large eggs
3/4 C heavy cream
5 oz. fresh goat cheese
1 C chopped pistachios
1 T olive oil
2 T fresh parsley

To make the tart, combine flour, salt, and herbs in the food processor. Cut the butter into pieces, add to flour, and pulse a few times until mixture resembles fine gravel. Remove mixture to bowl & add ice water 1 T at a time & stir with fork until mixture can be shaped into a ball. Can use an additional T. ice water if needed but careful not to add too much. Place dough on floured counter. Flatten between your hands, wrap in plastic, and refrigerate for at least one hour.

Preheat oven to 375° F. On floured counter, roll out the dough into a 12-inch circle. Arrange in a 10” fluted quiche pan. Gently press dough into sides and trim excess dough off the top. Prick bottom of the crust with a fork. Refrigerate for 1/2 hour till cold. Prick the pastry shell with a fork, then line it with aluminum foil and fill with dried beans. Bake for 15 minutes. Remove the foil and beans and bake for 3 minuites longer. The pastry should be lightly browned bake the single crust in a tart pan at 375° F until barely golden. Let cool.

To make the filling, pre-heat the oven to 350° F. Wash and dry beets and spread them in a single layer in an ovenproof pan. Toss lightly with olive oil, kosher salt and pepper. Cover the pan with aluminum foil and bake until the beets are tender when pierced with a fork, anywhere from 30-60 minutes. Allow beets to cool. Peel and and cut into small 1/2″ cubes.  Heat butter in a sauté pan over medium heat. Add thinly sliced onion with a dash of salt, and stir every few minutes until onion is tender. Add white wine & scrape the pan to loosen any browned bits stuck to the bottom. Remove onions from the pan when the wine has evaporated. Toss beets & onions together & place them into a baked tart shell.

Whisk together the eggs and cream, season well with salt and pepper, then pour over the beets and onions. Allow mixture  to seep down into the beets. Drop small wedges of goat cheese over the entire surface of the tart.

Place tart on a baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes. Remove tart from the oven and sprinkle with chopped pistachios. Drizzle with olive oil and return tart to the oven. Bake an additional 15 – 20 minutes, or until knife inserted in middle comes out clean.

Remove from the oven,  sprinkle with chopped parsley, and allow tart to rest for 5 minutes or more before serving.

For more information about Capriole Goat Cheese, be sure to visit their website.

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