Easy Entertaining: Make-Ahead Appetizer.
Cheesecake as an hors d’oeuvre? You bet! Savory cheesecakes are a favorite of mine to make, whether entertaining at home or bringing to a potluck. They look absolutely stunning on a small cake platter or serving dish, and hold well throughout an evening.
Because cheesecake is somewhat of a blank canvas, it lends itself easily to many savory ingredients. This recipe calls for Gorgonzola and Medjool dates baked into the filling which sits on a crust of bacon and pecans. Sound good? It gets even better. The cooled cheesecake is topped with balsamic-caramelized onions and garnished with more Gorgonzola. Yum.
Best of all, you can make it ahead of time, up to two days in advance.
Chop the bacon and pecans for the crust.
|Gorgonzola-Date Cheesecake with Bacon-Pecan Crust & Balsamic Caramelized Onion Topping||
- 2 slices finely chopped crisp cooked bacon
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped pecans
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 tablespoon butter, melted
- 3 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
- 2 ounces mascarpone, room temperature
- 1 1/2 teaspoons corn starch
- 1 large egg, lightly beaten
- 2 tablespoons heavy cream
- 4 large Medjool dates, pitted and diced
- 2 ounces crumbled Gorgonzola cheese
- 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 small yellow onion, chopped
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar glaze
- Crumbled Gorgonzola cheese
- Chopped parsley
- Heat oven to 325°F.
- For crust, stir together bacon, pecans, sugar and melted butter in a small bowl until well combined. Press into bottom and part way up the side of a sprayed 4-inch springform pan. Bake 6 minutes. Cool crust in pan on a wire rack.
- For filling, beat together cream cheese, mascarpone, and corn starch in a medium-sized bowl until fluffy. Beat in egg and cream. Stir in dates, Gorgonzola, and black pepper until well combined. Spoon filling over crust; place on a rimmed cookie sheet (some grease from bacon may bake out) and bake for 25-30 minutes or until center of cheesecake barely jiggles when springform pan is gently wiggled.
- Cool cheesecake on a wire rack 1 hour. Cover cheesecake with aluminum foil and refrigerate until cold, at least 4 hours or overnight. Using a knife, gently loosen sides of cheesecake from springform pan. Remove sides from springform pan and transfer cheesecake off bottom of pan to a serving platter.
- For topping, heat butter in a skillet over medium heat. Add onion and sauté, stirring often, until onion is lightly browned, about 10 minutes. Add brown sugar, salt, and pepper; cook, stirring often, until sugar is dissolved and onions begin to caramelize, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in balsamic glaze until onions are coated. Allow to cool for 5 minutes; spoon over cheesecake.
- Garnish with crumbled gorgonzola and chopped parsley, if desired.
Serve with baguette slices or crackers.
Have a larger springform pan? No problem. You can incrementally add additional filling ingredients and still use just one egg with a 5-inch or 6-inch springform pan.
Make-ahead Tips: Cheesecake can be made up to two days in advance. Onion topping can be made up to 4 hours in advance; hold at room temperature until ready to use.
Impress your guests at your next event with this elegant and delicious savory cheesecake.