I have come to love making jam so that I can enjoy the summer bounty in the depths of winter. They are easily turned into dessert (pop tarts anyone?), but can also make a perfect party appetizer on top of cheesecake.
While an herbed savory cheesecake was a perfect base to my tomato jam before, I wanted more of a blank canvas for a batch of strawberry rhubarb caramelized onion jam that I made this summer. Pumpernickel pretzels and walnuts turned out to be a fabulous choice for this treat, and it's absolutely perfect for entertaining.
Although, if you don't want to share, I won't tell ;)
Savory Goat Cheese Cheesecake
adapted from my PB Chocolate Cheesecake
You can make this in a regular 9 or 10" cheesecake pan for a party, or perhaps a few smaller 4" pans for a smaller gathering. Prefer the individual size? A mini cheesecake pan or a muffin tin work as well.
1c pumpernickel pretzel crumbs (could use any type of pretzel or cracker here)
1/2c chopped walnuts (or other nut/seed)
4T butter, melted
12oz cream cheese, RT
11oz goat cheese, RT
1/4t sea salt
freshly ground pepper
3 eggs, RT
strawberry rhubarb caramelized onion jam, peach jam with caramelized onions and basil, or tomato jam
Preheat the oven to 350deg.
To make pretzel crumbs, grind up pumpernickel pretzels in the small bowl of a food processor. Measure out 1c of the crumbs and combine with walnuts (these could also be ground up/chopped in the food processor). Add melted butter and stir until well combined. Press into desired baking pans. Bake 7-10min, then transfer to a rack to cool completely. Turn oven down to 250deg.
While the crust is cooling, prepare the filling. Cream together cream cheese and goat cheese in a stand mixer. Add salt and pepper and mix well. Add eggs, one at a time, making sure each is well combined. Pour into cooled crust, be sure not to fill more than 3/4 up the pan. Tap cheesecake on the table to allow any air bubbles to come to the surface.
Bake (30min for minis, 45 for 4" and 1 1/2-2hours for a 9 or 10", the top will be set and no longer be jiggly). Remove and place on a wire rack. Mine had cracks, but I didn't mind since I was covering it with jam. Once cooled, refrigerate until ~1hr before serving. Top with the jam of your choice and serve!
I know we just passed the holiday season, what was your favorite party food?