If you’ve never paid a visit to Renee’s Organic Oven, it’s important to know that the restaurant dedicates itself to the use of organic food, locally-sourced ingredients, and many gluten-free and vegan options. This same sentiment is seen throughout their dessert menu.
“We’ve been here twelve years, and I still don’t know of many places that are focusing on being organic,” Renee Kreager, owner of Renee’s Organic Oven, said. “When we opened twelve years ago, a lot of people had no idea what ‘organic’ was.”
But now, times have changed and consumers are actually in search of organic food — including dessert.
Among the most interesting items on Renee’s dessert menu is the Goat Cheese Cheesecake. If you’re a cheesecake lover, you will fall in love with this cheesecake instantly. I promise.
The cheesecake is made with both cream cheese and goat cheese and is topped with a vanilla bean and pineapple compote.
But I couldn’t help but wonder, why goat cheese?
Besides the fact that Kreager loves the flavor of goat cheese, she said, “When we introduce ingredients with some integrity behind them, we have to utilize them in the right way.”
“For example, we have goat cheese on our Shroomy Goat pizza, which means that since we already have goat cheese here, we wanted to try to put goat cheese on a sandwich, or in a dessert.”
The pineapple used atop the cheesecake is also used in Renee’s Thai curry sauce, used for their Thai Curry pizza.
“The taste is great. It’s delicious,” she said.
One of the staples on the dessert menu is Steve’s Chocolate Cake, named after Kreager’s husband. The cake is even more delicious than it looks, and hey, it’s hard to go wrong with four layers of chocolate.
“We’ve had Steve’s Chocolate Cake since the beginning,” she said. “We started playing around with it, and people said they loved it.”
Steve’s Chocolate Cake is a classic chocolate layer cake topped with organic berries and homemade whipped cream. The whipped cream is tasty, as are the complimentary berries.
“It’s just a traditional scratch cake that a lot of people don’t make anymore,” she said. “A lot of times, you taste strange oils in cakes or too much sugar. We work very hard on it being really clean.”
Another favorite is the vegan Cinnamon Roll.
“We wanted something that was baked and vegan,” Kreager said. “We added the cinnamon rolls because our dough is vegan, and we use the same icing [that is used] on the bundt cake.” Kreager also wanted to avoid the use of oil and butter.
“We have a consistent interaction with guests and we pay attention,” she said. “If people are asking for something more and more, it gives me the ability to focus in on that. That’s how the cinnamon rolls were born.”
As aforementioned, Renee’s Organic Oven works with many local businesses to obtain the best ingredients possible. This includes cheese from Fiore di Capra, organic beef from San Rafael Valley, and coffee from Yellow Brick Coffee and Arbuckle Coffee.
As for dessert, the menu features the vegan and gluten-free Gourmet Girls Bundt Cake and the gluten-free Gourmet Girls Carrot Cake. Both items come from Tucson’s own Gourmet Girls Gluten Free Bakery/Bistro. The restaurant also uses gluten-free baguettes and pizza crust from Gourmet Girls.
Additionally, Renee’s Organic Oven serves vegan sorbet and gluten-free ice cream from Isabella’s Ice Cream.
One of Kreager’s favorite desserts on the menu is the most simple — a mug of homemade whipped cream and organic berries. Outside of her own menu, Kreager recommends the Ginger Molasses Bundt Cake from Pastiche.
“For me, a good dessert is something that’s well-made,” she said. “That’s what I appreciate.”
Renee’s Organic Oven
7065 E. Tanque Verde Rd.
Tucson, AZ 85715
Dessert in the Desert is a new series highlighting desserts in Tucson. The main courses at restaurants get all the rage, as they should, but what about desserts? They deserve a spotlight, too.