Cheesecake is one of my all-time favorite desserts. Classic cheesecake, pumpkin cheesecake, chocolate cheesecake, fruity cheesecake, carrot cheesecake, gingerbread cheesecake, red velvet cheesecake... I've made them all and loved them all. And while I have seen several recipes for savory cheesecakes, they've always seemed a little too "out there" for me. I feel like having an unappetizing cheesecake is terrible because let's face it - a cheesecake is huge, and that is a lot of food going to waste. So I've always shied away from them, even though I was intrigued.
That is, until a few weeks ago. Some of the women on my street get together every so often for girls' night; we all bring appetizers and drinks, and basically we sit around and gossip and chat until the wee hours of the night. Our most recent night however, posed a small dilemma. We were going to be at Georgia Tech all day tailgating and going to a football game, so we weren't expecting to be home in time for me to spend a lot of time making a dish. Therefore, I wanted to have something that I could make ahead of time. I searched and searched for something that appealed to me and that would appeal to my friends (who all LOVE food, so I didn't want to do something plain or generic). Finally I stumbled upon this blue cheese cheesecake. Jackpot!
I bought a really nice blue cheese from Whole Foods since it played such a starring role. As the cake baked, I prepared the pear-onion jam, then I refrigerated both components separately. The end result was so delicious. The pungent blue cheese flavor was definitely prominent, but was contrasted nicely by the tangy cream cheese and sweet pear-onion jam. There are so many adaptations as well. Use goat cheese instead of blue cheese, replace the asiago with parmesan, use gruyere... and as for the jam, fig-onion jam would be lovely, as would a jam of apples. I absolutely loved this, and couldn't resist snacking on it all night long.
Luckily, we ended up having so much food that there was enough leftover for me to put out a big wedge as an appetizer for our Fake Thanksgiving dinner the next day. Served with crackers and apple slices, this makes a great appetizer for nibbling, and I think it would make an absolutely lovely addition to a cheese tray as well.
Blue Cheese Cheesecake with Pear-Onion Jam
adapted from Culinary Concoctions by Peabody
- 3 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, softened to room temperature
- 8 ounces blue cheese, crumbled
- 6 ounces Asiago cheese, shredded
- 4 large eggs
- 1/4 cup heavy cream
- 1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the cream cheese, asiago, and blue cheese until smooth and creamy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the cream and pepper and mix to combine.
Pour the mixture into the springform pan and bake uncovered, in a water bath, until browned on top and barely set in the center, 45 to 50 minutes. Cool completely and refrigerate several hours or overnight before serving.
- 4 cups onions, diced
- 2 tsp olive oil
- 2 cups peeled and chopped pears
- 2 Tbs raspberry or pear vinegar
- 1 cup brown sugar, lightly packed
- 1/4 tsp kosher salt
- pinch cayenne pepper
Using a slotted spoon, remove the pears and onions from the skillet into a medium bowl, leaving behind as much of the liquid as possible. Increase heat to medium and cook until the mixture has thickened into a glaze. Mix into the pears and onions, cover, and refrigerate until ready to serve.
To serve, pour the pear-onion jam over the cheesecake, then remove the sides of the springform pan. Serve with crackers, bread, or apple slices.