Make Ahead

Sweet & Spicy Piloncillo Cheese Spread

February 28, 2021
0 Ratings
Photo by Mark Weinberg
  • Prep time 40 minutes
  • Cook time 4 hours
  • Serves 8
Author Notes

This appetizer has been on the menu of the Liberty Bar in San Antonio for decades, and after having it once it haunts you. Hence the need to make it at home.

A few notes on ingedients: the Liberty Bar uses chile morita, which is sometimes used in canned chipotle en adobo sauce. I have come to like the adobo sauce addition, and it's easier to find than dried moritas in some places. Piloncillo is a wonderful unrefined brown sugar shaped in a cone and commonly found in Mexican grocery stores, often in the produce section. It has a fruity taste compared to bagged brown sugar.

Liberty Bar opened in 1984, and a version of the recipe was published in Gourmet in 1996. —Meredith

What You'll Need
  • 10 ounces chevre soft goat cheese at room temp
  • 8 ounces cream cheese at room temperature
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 chipotles en adobo and sauce to taste
  • 1 8-ounce cone of piloncillo (Mexican brown sugar)
  • 8 ounces heavy cream
  • grilled or toasted bread for serving.
  1. Put the cheeses, minced garlic, salt, 1/2 of a minced chipotle, and adobo sauce to taste (start with 1 teaspoon) in a deep mixing bowl. Use a hand-held mixer to completely mix the ingredients until the mixture is pale orange.
  2. Line a small squash or rectangular glass dish with parchment or plastic wrap, then pack the cheese mixture into it (the layer of cheese should be 2 to 3 inches thick), cover, and refrigerate for 4 hours (up to overnight).
  3. About an hour before serving, make the sauce by heating the cream, the whole chipotle, and the piloncillo cone on low heat. The piloncillo will slowly dissolve and can be broken apart with a wooden spoon as it melts—about 20-25 minutes, stirring frequently. The mixture may foam and bubble, but avoid letting it fully boil. When ready, the sauce will be a thick caramel color. Remove and discard the chipotle, and remove the sauce from the heat to cool for about 15 minutes.
  4. Allow the sauce to cool for about 15 minutes to room temperature. Turn the cheese block out onto a serving dish with some depth, like a shallow bowl, as there will be a lot of sauce. While the sauce is still a little warm, pour it over the cheese (if it's too hot, it will melt the cheese).
  5. Use a knife to spread cheese and sauce onto a piece of grilled or toasted bread, and enjoy.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Meredith
  • isw
  • Stephanie G
    Stephanie G
  • Julie

5 Reviews

isw April 2, 2021
How about ditching the damn webp format for images? You offer recipes (which I appreciate, and thank you), which people will download (because of course they will, and you want them to), but you supply them with attractive images that can't be used in a local copy of the recipe. It's a PITB to have to take a screen shot in order to get a jpg or png which you could have just provided in the first place.
Stephanie G. March 23, 2021
I have been making this exact recipe for years. It's on the Epicurious website as Goat Cheese with Chile Morita and Piloncillo.
Meredith March 23, 2021
Hi Stephanie, thanks for commenting. Epicurious publishes old recipes from Gourmet magazine. As I noted in my intro, a version of the recipe was published in Gourmet in 1996, but Liberty Bar opened in 1984. I don't know who originally invented it. However, my version is different from the one on epicurious, it has more goat cheese and less cream cheese, and includes the sauce from the adobo. I have found this is a sharper and smokier version, and I like it that way.
Julie March 21, 2021
We’ve enjoyed and missed this appetizer from the Liberty Bar and were delighted to find a recipe and better version with the adobo. The recipe is easy to read, understand and make.
Meredith March 21, 2021
Thank you! I miss the Liberty Bar too!