If this space wasn’t a somewhat experimental one before, it really is today. I’m not a fan of blue cheese. It and I, we don’t see eye to eye let alone appreciate the same kinds of smells. It’s really not the moldy bits peppering throughout, it’s just the taste. But my husband? He loves the stuff. Some things a woman’s just gotta overlook.
But…you want to know what this really is? It’s a savory cheesecake. Yeah, a cheesecake! I love the stuff enough to look past it’s blue cheese base and consider the potential. I would do anything for cheesecake…yes, even that. Even blue cheese.
As you guessed, one must chop (or in this case if you have one, chop with a small food prep appliance) some pecans. Because every cheesecake needs a crust, right? This one is pretty interesting.
Parmesan cheese? YES. Put it in there. All of it. It’s gonna be gooood.
Now for some sugar! Yes, put it in, too. It’s just one quarter cup. No worries!
A little melted butter rounds it all out. It sounds like an odd crust, even for a savory dish, but it tastes good, I food blog promise.
Once that’s all well mixed, begin pressing it into your pan with a spatula, like so, then take a small roller if you have one, say, for pastry, or take a flat-bottomed glass or ramekin and press that flat side against the pecan mixture firmly until it’s pressed as tightly into the pan as you can get it. This will get baked first by itself first.
Meanwhile, back at the prep counter, it’s time to make this into Cheesy McCheesyness. Blue cheese, sour cream and cream cheese will blend together with eggs until smooth, or as smooth as you can get it. Definitely use a stand or hand mixer for this part.
I love getting food pics of stuff pouring into pans where it looks like a tongue. It’s funny look’n. Don’t judge me.
So once that’s done, it’s time to bake your way one more time to the end of this recipe. Like any other cheesecake, be sure to let it come completely to room temperature (ours took about an hour total to cool) and then refrigerate for a few hours to help it set up completely. If you start this one earlier in the day you’d have plenty of time to cool and set it for an afternoon or evening party.
I’ve gotta say – this savory cheesecake really surprised me. I expected to make something only the hubby would really enjoy at our house, but mark your calendars with July 27, 2012 as the day I said I enjoyed something with blue cheese in it. As is probably expected, the cream cheese and sour cream dilute the blue cheese a little, but it still has a very discernible blue cheese flavor. And this stuff is rich, which is probably why it’s in an appetizer cookbook. Cut it into cute little bite-size pieces and serve it with grapes, plums and apples. The pecan crust is savory because of the pecans and Parmesan cheese, but the sugar gives it a very slight counterbalance that works perfectly.
I, a professed blue-cheese-un-enthusiest, would gladly make this again. Hope you try it and enjoy!
Savory Pecan-Crusted Blue Cheese Bites
Prep Time: 20 minutes Cook Time: about 40 minutes Cool Time: 4 hours Level: Easy Makes: about 24 pieces
- 2 cups toasted pecans
- 1 1/2 ounces Parmesan cheese
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 2 tablespoons butter, melted
- 2 packages cream cheese, (8 ounces each), softened
- 4 ounces blue cheese, crumbled
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- 3 eggs
- Thinly sliced fruit such as apples, plums and grapes
Prepare crust: Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Finely chop pecans. Grate Parmesan cheese. In a mixing bowl, combine the pecans, Parmesan cheese, sugar and butter; mix well. Press pecan mixture into bottom of a sheet pan with one-inch sides. If you don’t have one, use a 9×13 glass or cake pan instead, sprayed with nonstick cooking spray. Bake for 15 minutes.
Prepare the filling: Meanwhile, whisk together cream cheese, blue cheese, sour cream, and eggs in the batter bowl of your stand mixer or a bowl suitable for a hand mixer. Beat until smooth (if using stand mixer, use a whisk attachment); pour over the baked crust. Bake 20-23 minutes or until center is set; remove to a cooling rack. Cool to room temperature then refrigerate at least 3 hours.
To serve, cut into 24 squares; cut diagonally to form 48 triangles. Top with thinly sliced fruit, if desired.
If your pecans aren’t pre-toasted, go ahead and chop them up and place them in a skillet over medium heat, stirring often until you smell the oils beginning to release. When the pecans are fragrant, they’re toasted enough.
Don’t worry if your filling mixture isn’t 100% smooth. A few lumps of the blue cheese won’t hurt.
Ours was very set when pulled out of the oven, not too much, just right. It shouldn’t be jiggly. Cooling it 1 hour on the counter was just right to get it to room temp.