Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Blue Cheese Cheesecake with Pear-Onion Jam

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
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Grease a 9-inch springform pan.

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.

Pear-Onion Jam
  • 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
Saute onions in the oil over medium heat until softened and browned. Reduce heat and cook an addtional 10-15 minutes, until they are beginning to caramelize.  Add the pears, vinegar, brown sugar, salt, and cayenne.  Cook until pears are slightly softened but still crisp. 

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.


Courtney said...

I tried a savory cheesecake for the first time just a few days ago. It was so delicious, and I found myself wondering why I hadn't seen more of them. I love the addition of the pear-onion jam on this one. It looks delicious!

Natalie said...

I've never had a savory cheesecake but I have a few bookmarked, including this one! Yum!!

Catherine said...

I was looking for a good savory app to make for a party, and when I read this entry yesterday afternoon, I immediately threw all my other ideas away and made this as soon as I got home last night. I haven't tried it yet, but it smells so delicious! I'm just sad I have to wait until the party tomorrow night to try it!

Josie said...

Catherine, I hope you like it!!

Leigh and Anthony said...

Hi. It looks delicious. How far in advance do you think you could make this? I was thinking 3 days?


Josie said...

Leigh and Anthony,
I think it would be fine, well wrapped. I would just wait to add the jam until you're ready to serve. Hope you enjoy!

The Galley Gourmet said...

This does look good and I love the adaptations. I will put this on my to do list. You have a lovely blog. Nice to meet you:)

Leigh said...


Anonymous said...

This was delicious. I think next time I'll try converting to a smaller 4" pan so I don't have such a large amount, but other than that, I wouldn't change a thing. Love the pairing of the savory, salty blue cheese and the pear and onion topping. So, so good.

Anonymous said...

Hey, I am checking this blog using the phone and this appears to be kind of odd. Thought you'd wish to know. This is a great write-up nevertheless, did not mess that up.

- David

Anonymous said...

This was wonderful and it received rave reviews at a wine tasting. Next time, I might try finding a similar chutney or jam at the grocery. The pear onion jam was good, but it was not really worth the time and effort.

Unknown said...

I looooove savory cheesecakes. Yours is real pretty :) Love the 'jam' on top!

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