I'm doing an early thanksgiving this year for a mixed group, American, Canadian, Australian and Indian. The pumpkin for the Pumpkin custard tart is almost ripe, and the turkey comes Friday. Also on the menu, two salads (a farfale pasta salad with grilled peppers, broccoli and sun-dried tomatoes, an apple-walnut-celery and butter lettuce salad, plus homemade bread, stuffing, potatoes, gravy and two appetizers, one tba, and the following savoury cheesecake:
1 cup crushed crackers
1/3 melted butter
1/3 cup grated parmesan
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. white pepper
16 ounces cream cheese, softened
6 eggs separated
1/3 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup sour cream
1 cup crumbled bacon, drained and fat removed
1 cup preserved artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
1/2 cup chopped green onion
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp,. white pepper
1/2 cup ground coarse almonds, toasted lightly
1/2 cup grated sharp cheddar cheese
1/4 cup chopped green onions
Preheat the oven to 360 degrees. Grease an 9x9 inch springform pan with cooking oil or spray with Pam.
For the crust, grind crackers in a food processor until they are fine crumbs. (I like to use a combination of saltines and onion-garlic crackers and am tempted by ry-krisps.) Add butter and parmesan and mix well. Press crumb mixture into pan. Refrigerate.
For the filling, beat cream cheese until soft and creamy. Add salt and pepper, then egg yolks, cream and sour cream. Mix until airy and fluffy. Whip egg whites and fold them into this mixture gently. Then fold in artichokes pieces and crumbled bacon. (Note: squeeze all the moisture from the bacon and the artichoke pieces with paper or clean cloth towels before adding them.) Pour over the cracker crumb crust. Bake at 360 degrees for 35 to 40 minutes, until just set in the center. Top with your choice of topping. Cover and refrigerate overnight. Cut into squares.
Vegetarians can substitute chopped, drained sun-dried tomatoes for the bacon. Vegans might want to try one of these recipes .
Other fans of savoury cheesecake might like to try this Roquefort and pear cheesecake from Delia.
For Salmon cheesecake, substitute the bacon and artichokes with 1 cup smoked salmon, chopped up, and 1/2 cup grated emmenthal cheese.