Savory Cheesecakes & The Twisted Tasting

Last week we had the pleasure of participating in the first annual Twisted Tasting hosted by Santa Cruz Mountain Brewing Co.  It was an event designed to “showcase forty of the most unique, experimental and unusual beers in the world partnered with locally produced exotic and atypical food.”

Before the festivities began I had a chance to meet up with old friends and made a few new ones.  There were also many wonderful creations to sample, including pickled eggs with hops salt, locally made and non-GMO corn nuts, chicharrónes with mole and micro cilantro, espresso dusted pecorino pinot cheeries, stout brownies, and so much more.

For the event we decided to pair somewhat familiar flavors, such as goat cheese with Red Pepper Jelly and Meyer Lemon Marmalade with Point Reyes Farmstead blue, in a not-so-familiar way with three different savory cheesecakes – Savory Point Reyes Blue Cheesecake, Savory Goat Cheesecake, and Black Peppercorn, Lemon, & Goat Cheesecake which we then paired with three different preserves.  Needless to say they were all a hit and we received MANY requests for the recipes.

Savory Blue Cheesecake

Adapted from Giada de Laurentiis, Sweet Basil Cheesecake.

INGREDIENTS

4 oz cream cheese*
4 oz ricotta cheese *
3 oz blue cheese such as Point Reyes Farmstead blue*
1 egg*
1 egg yolk*
Juice of 1 lemon
1/2 tbsp kosher salt
1/2 tbsp freshly ground black pepper
4 oz Marmalade or Pear & Rosemary Conserve

*Ingredients need to be at room temperature.

Preheat oven to 350°.  Grease a 4 inch springform pan with butter and line with two pieces (one for the bottom and one for the ring) of parchment paper.  Carefully wrap pan in foil to ensure that water from the bain maire will not seep in.  Place wrapped spring form pan into the casserole dish.  Set aside.  In a medium sized pan, bring about a quart and half of water to a boil and then remove from heat.

Add the cream cheese, ricotta, and blue cheese into the food processor and blend until smooth.  Then add remaining ingredients and blend again.  Pour batter into the spring form pan and place in the oven on a mid-to-low rack.  Carefully pour the hot water into the casserole dish and bake for 50 minutes.  Turn off the heat and let the cheesecake rest in the oven for one hour.  Remove from oven, cover, and chill in the refrigerator for at least 3 hours.  Remove the cake from the pan and serve with a bright marmalade or a buttery pear conserve.

**For the Twisted Tasting we doubled this recipe and cooked the cake in a 7 inch springform pan.  The cooking time remained the same.

Variations:

Goat Cheesecake – substitute 3 oz goat cheese for 3 oz blue cheese, omit lemon juice, and black pepper.

Black Peppercorn, Lemon, & Goat Cheesecake – substitute 3 oz goat cheese for 3 oz blue cheese.

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