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Savory Gorgonzola Cheesecake is the Star of the Party

Posted By brosbottom On December 7, 2017 @ 12:12 pm In Food News | 27 Comments

Savory Gorgonzola Cheesecake with Grapes, Apples and Toasted Baguette Slices

Nonstick cooking spray
1 cup walnuts, toasted and finely ground
1/3 cup panko crumbs
1/4 cup flour
1/2 tsp kosher salt
3 tbsp unsalted butter, melted

1 1/2 pounds (three 8-oz packages) cream cheese, at room temperature
12 oz creamy Gorgonzola, rind removed, and cheese broken into chunks, at room temperature
1/2 cup whipping or heavy cream
2 1/4 tsp dried crushed rosemary
1 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 tsp kosher salt
4 to 5 large eggs at room temperature

1 /4 cup coarsely chopped walnuts
Red or green (or a combination) grapes clusters
Toasted baguette slices (See cooking tip.)
2 apples such as Granny Smith or Honey Crisp stemmed, cored, cut into 1/4 -inch thick wedges and tossed in the juice of 1 lemon
Fig jam (Stonewall Kitchen’s Fig and Ginger Jam works well.)

1.Arrange a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a 9-inch springform pan with nonstick spray.

2. Combine ground walnuts, panko crumbs, flour, and salt in a medium bowl. Add the melted butter and mix well. Pat the mixture evenly onto the bottom of the pan. Place pan on center shelf of the oven and bake until set, about 10 minutes. Remove from the oven, but leave the oven on.

3.With an electric mixer on medium speed, beat the cream cheese, Gorgonzola, rosemary, pepper, and salt in a mixing bowl just until creamy and smooth, 11/2 minutes or longer. Stop the machine to scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula as needed. Reduce speed to low and add cream. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing just to blend and stopping to scrape down sides as needed. Pour the batter into the springform pan and smooth the top with a spatula. Place the pan on a baking sheet.

4.Bake until the cheesecake is firm, 35 to 40 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool the cheesecake in the pan on a rack to room temperature. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until chilled. (Can be prepared 2 days ahead. Bring to room temperature 1 hour before serving.)

5. Run a paring knife around the inside edges of the springform pan to loosen. Then remove the sides. Transfer cheesecake to a platter or tray and sprinkle some chopped walnuts in the center on the top. Garnish with clusters of grapes, apple slices, toasted baguette slices, and with a bowl of fig jam. To eat spread a little cheesecake on an apple wedge or baguette slice. Top, if desired with some fig jam or grapes. Serves 20

Market note: I particularly like to use Mountain Gorgonzola, available at Whole Foods and other supermarkets.

Cooking tip: Cut a baguette into 3/8-inch thick slices and brush on both sides  generously with olive oil. Place on a rimmed baking sheet and bake 4 minutes, then turn and bake on the other side 3 to 4 minutes more or until just crisp. Remove and cool. (Toasted baguettes slices can be prepared 6 hours ahead; leave at cool room temperature covered loosely with a sheet of aluminum foil.)

copyright Betty Rosbottom 2017

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