Goat cheese gives the cheesecake layer a soft and mellow tang, while a wisp of honey lingers through each and every bite
It bills itself as a grocery store. Sure, you can buy canned goods or soft drinks or meat or bread there, just like any other grocery store. But that’s where the resemblance ends.
Wegmans is more than a supermarket – it’s an experience, a kaleidoscope of food. When you round the corner from the entrance, you’re confronted with supermarket sensory overload. Hey, look at all the different kinds of bread! And isn’t that a build-your-own-sub station? And the cookies – look at all those cookies! Then you see vegetables – a small farm’s worth of vegetables!
And that’s just the first 10 feet.
The first time I ventured into Wegmans, I was stunned. Where to go? It’s not laid out like any other grocery store you’ve been in. Mixed in with the groceries, there’s a pizza shop, a sandwich shop and a burger station.
It’s got all the usual things, plus much, much more. The seafood section features not just every kind of shellfish and filets, but also the ugliest whole fish you’ll ever see – a monkfish. After seeing this monster, my husband, Drake, will never eat it again.
Your typical packaged bread and bagels are here, but there’s also a wide range of baked goods from apple fritters and sticky buns to almond croissants, all made in the store. You will find significant quantities of just about every kind of meat you can think of, including whole ducks and rabbits, as well as a full-service butcher shop. And 700 – yes, 700 – kinds of cheeses. Did I mention the Asian and Italian food sections?
Are you tired yet? Because we’ve only been through about 20% of the store.
As you continue on your journey through the wonderful world of Wegmans, you come across things you don’t usually find anywhere else in our area: several varieties of Russian caviar, Tuscan porchetta and Spanish ham made from pigs raised solely on acorns.
There are all the expected things, too: paper towels, canned vegetables (including a lot of Wegmans house brand items) and condiments. It may be an experience, but it’s still a grocery store.
Some of us have been mourning the loss of the extensive beer and wine selections of Southern Season. Well, cast off your sackcloth and ashes, and visit the next best thing. Wegmans has a beer and wine section that’s the size of some grocery stores.
And the service is top-notch with so many smiling, helpful employees, just happy to be there.
Wegmans has it all – that’s the allure.
My husband was so impressed with Wegmans’ cheese selection – with gratifying representation from our local cheesemakers – that he asked me to recreate the recipe for the wonderful goat cheese cheesecake (that’s right, goat cheese) I made recently. You won’t have any trouble finding chèvre at Wegmans. The difficulty will be deciding which one to buy.
Goat Cheese Cheesecake
Serves 10 to 12
6 Tbsp. salted butter, melted, plus more for greasing the pan
1¾ cups graham crackers or gingersnap crumbs
¾ tsp. salt, divided
1 lb. goat cheese, room temperature
1 lb. cream cheese, room temperature
¾ cup sugar
1 Tbsp. grated lemon zest
2 cups sour cream, room temperature
⅓ cup honey
5 large eggs, plus 2 yolks
Before starting this recipe, set out the goat cheese, cream cheese, sour cream and eggs to make sure all come to room temperature.
Heat the oven to 325 F. Grease the bottom of a 9-inch round springform pan with butter or a cooking spray.
In a large bowl, stir melted butter, crumbs and ¼ teaspoon salt until well mixed. Pour crumb mixture into the prepared pan and press into an even layer. Bake for 10 minutes or until the crust is golden. Cool to room temperature.
Turn the oven to 450 F. Grease the inside walls of the cooled pan with butter, then set on a baking sheet.
With an electric mixer, beat the goat cheese and cream cheese until creamy and combined. Add sugar, ½ teaspoon salt and lemon zest, then beat until the mixture is smooth and fluffy.
Gradually add the sour cream, followed by the honey. Add the eggs and yolks one at a time, beating until combined after each addition.
Pour into the springform pan and smooth out the surface.
Bake the cheesecake for 20 minutes. Turn off the oven and prop open the door slightly for 10 minutes.
Close the oven door and set the oven to 250 F. Continue to bake for 35 to 40 minutes or until the center is almost firm in the middle. It will continue to cook after you take it out.
Set the baking sheet with the cheesecake on a wire rack and cool. After about 10 minutes, run a knife around the edge of the cheesecake to loosen the sides. Cool to room temperature, then refrigerate for several hours before removing the pan’s sides and serving.