I’ve been saving this for you! For this very moment, when, after the round of holiday parties and dozens of the same old snacks, you need something new and different and yummy to take to that New Year’s Eve get-together or Super Bowl party.
This recipe for a savory cheesecake spread is incredibly easy, really tasty, and unusual enough to cement your reputation as a great and imaginative cook.
What you need before you start, though, is a small springform pan. I love using a springform pan because it makes me feel like a real cook. While it’s easy enough to find a standard-size pan of about 12 inches, you may need to shop on-line to find a 6-inch pan.
And you need some sort of savory jelly or jam. I got the recipe for this cheesecake from a woman who made garlic jelly—it sounds kind of gross but it was wonderful and the resulting cheesecake was spectacular. She sold the jelly with the springform pan and included the recipe—a kit for perfection!
The first time I served this at a party, a friend who LOVES food, wandered around our house with his plate full of the cheesecake, talking with his mouth full, saying, “this is the BEST thing I’ve ever eaten.”
People don’t usually say that about the things I cook so I knew I had a winner!
Since I made that first cheesecake and used up the garlic jelly, I’ve made the cheesecake with garlic jam made by Stonewall Kitchen, as well as hot pepper jellies that are much easier to find. All of these are equally grand or you might find a jelly that has hot peppers AND garlic!
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
6 oz. grated Monterey Jack cheese
½ cup grated Parmesan or Romano cheese
8 oz. cream cheese (easiest if you let it soften to room temp first)
1 tsp. cracked black peppercorns
1 jar (13-17 oz.) hot pepper jelly (or garlic jelly), divided
Mix first five ingredients together with half of the jelly.
Pour mixture into greased 6-inch spring form pan; I also cut a circle of cook’s parchment paper to line the bottom of the pan and placed the whole thing on parchment on a cookie sheet. I love using parchment paper because it makes me feel . . . well, you know.
Bake at 375 degrees for 40-45 minutes. It’ll get quite brown and be just a little jiggly in the middle. When you take it out of the oven, the top will be puffed up and will slowly sink, to make a perfect little bowl for the remaining jelly.
Cool completely. Remove the outside of the pan. Top with remaining jelly. Serve with crackers. Wait for people to ask for the recipe.