Cheesecakes seem like they have the longest most time consuming recipes. But in reality they are not hard or time consuming. They do have a long baking and cooling time. But all of that is inactive time where you can be sleeping, grocery shopping or catching up on that weeks Tivo’d Biggest Looser (my newest favorite reality show. I plan on sobbing tomorrow night too).
I made this for a wine and cheese party I catered. Perfect to entertain with. And 1 cheesecake will feed 20-30 people as an appetizer. But if you are like my friends and me, this will feed about 10 of you.
1 1/2 cup breads crumbs
3/4 cup walnuts
4 tbsp parmesan cheese
4 tbsp butter, melted
24 ounces cream cheese
2 cups blue cheese
1/4 cup greek yogurt
1 ripe pear, thinly sliced
1/4 cup Blue Cheese Crumbles
1/4 cup Toasted chopped Walnuts
1/2 cup Pear Compote (Recipe Below)
Preheat oven to 300°. Mix bread crumbs, walnuts, and Parmesan cheese together
in food processor. Pulse until nuts are finely ground. Add butter and process until mixture holds together. Press firmly into bottom of 9-inch springform pan. Bake 10 minutes. Cool on rack while preparing filling.
Beat together cream cheese and blue cheese in mixer on medium speed. Add greek yogurt. Add eggs, 1 at a time, mixing on low speed until just blended. Pour half the mixture over the crust. Lay pear slices over the filling to cover. Pour remaining filling over.
Increase the oven temperature to 400 degrees. Bake for 15 minutes at 400. Without opening the oven, lower the temperature to 300. Bake 1 hour, until center of cake is almost set. Remove from oven and let cool for about 15 minutes. Run a knife around the edge of the pan to loosen the cake. Cool completely before removing the pan. Refrigerate overnight or at least 6 hours.
Before serving, top with the pear sauce, then sprinkle the blue cheese and toasted walnuts. Let stand at room temperature 15 minutes before serving.
Can be served with sliced baguette or crackers. or make it as a piece of ‘pie’ and have it with a side salad for lunch.
3/4 cup muscat wine
1 tbsp sugar
1 pounds pears, chopped
In a medium sized saucepan, combine the wine, sugar, and spices over medium-high heat. Cook, stirring, until the sugar dissolves. Add the pears and simmer until tender, about 5 minutes. Transfer the pears to a medium bowl. Bring the liquid to a simmer and cook until thickened, about 5 minutes. Pour the syrup over the pears and let cool to room temperature. Puree them in a food processor or with a hand blender to get an applesauce consistency. It should only take a few pulses. Store in the refrigerator until ready to use. Can be made up to 3 days ahead of time.
*The pear compote also tastes wonderful on top of vanilla ice cream!
Yield: about 1/2 cup