Now, calling it a cheesecake is something of a misnomer, because cheesecakes are baked and this is not. But it's prepared in a springform pan and contains cream cheese, so we're going to cut some slack here. Parties are not for nitpicking, it spoils the spirit of the thing, n'est pas?
I took this as a surprise extra to a potluck for 9 the other night, and the enthusiastic response was balm to my soul. Every baguette slice and every endive leaf was dipped and consumed, and then we went on a cracker hunt. In the end, a tiny bit was left on the plate and we moved on to a delicious dinner of tandoori chicken with cucumber and mango relish, local sweet corn on the cob, spicy sesame noodles, my spinach salad with gorgonzola and sugared walnuts, and a gorgeous blueberry pie with fresh-picked blueberries, a la mode. It's safe to say a good time was had by all!
Hot Pepper Jelly Cheesecake
|1/4 c.||pine nuts (I substituted pistachios) |
|8 oz||cream cheese (neufchatel ok, but it makes a softer "cake" |
|1 c.||hot pepper jelly, preferably red (I used Catamount Specialties chipotle) |
|2 cloves||garlic, finely minced|
|1/4 c.||chopped fresh cilantro|
|5 oz||sharp Cheddar, grated (about 1 1/4 c); you can substitute Monterey Jack or even mozzarella |
|sliced bread, crackers, or Belgian endive cups|
- Soften cream cheese
- Mince garlic
- Preheat oven to 325 F
- Chop cilantro
- Grate the Cheddar
- Place the pine nuts on a baking sheet and toast in the 325 oven until golden, about 8 minutes. Set aside.
- Place the cream cheese, 1/2 cup of the jelly, garlic, cilantro and Cheddar in a food processor. Process until evenly blended.
- Line the bottom of a 7-inch springform pan with parchment paper. Spray the sides of the pan with nonstick spray.
- Add the cheese mixture. Refrigerate at least 2 hours.
- Spread the remaining jelly evenly across the top surface and sprinkle the pine nuts on top. The recipe can be completed to this point up to 24 hours before serving.
- To serve, carefully remove the sides of the pan. Transfer the cheesecake to a serving plate. Serve chilled, with bread, crackers and/or endive cups.