Blue Cheese Cheesecake with Baby Greens, Candied Walnuts and a Pear Vinaigrette

Total Time:
1 hr 41 min
Prep:
40 min
Inactive:
1 min
Cook:
1 hr

Yield:
10 to 12 servings
Level:
Intermediate

Ingredients
  • 3/4 cup toasted bread crumbs
  • 3/4 cup finely chopped toasted walnuts
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 pound good-quality blue cheese, at room temperature
  • 1 pound cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh rosemary
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Baby greens for serving
  • Pear Vinaigrette, recipe follows
  • Candied Walnuts, recipe follows
  • Pear Vinaigrette:
  • 1 (4-ounce) firm-ripe pear, peeled, cored and cut into 1/4-inch thick slices
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons Champagne vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons minced shallots
  • 2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon soy sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons green onions
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • Candied Walnuts:
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup walnut halves
  • 2 tablespoons packed light brown sugar
Directions
  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

  • In the bowl of a food processor, combine bread crumbs, walnuts and melted butter and process until thoroughly combined. Press the mixture on the bottom and partially up the sides of an 8-inch springform pan. Set aside.

  • In a mixing bowl combine blue cheese and cream cheese and mix until smooth. Add the eggs 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the garlic, rosemary, salt and pepper and combine well. Using a spatula, transfer cheese mixture to the prepared pan and bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour, until the cake is golden brown and not loose in the center.

  • While the cake is baking, make the Pear Vinaigrette and Candied Walnuts.

  • When the cake is puffed, golden brown and not loose in the center, transfer to a cooling rack and allow to cool at least 30 minutes before serving.

  • Serve the cake warm, with a salad of baby greens tossed with the Pear Vinaigrette, garnished with the Candied Walnuts.

Pear Vinaigrette:
  • Combine the pear, Champagne vinegar, shallots, sugar, rosemary and black pepper in a skillet and bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer until the pears are tender, about 6 minutes. Remove from the heat and transfer to a blender or food processor.

  • Add the mustard, soy sauce, kosher salt, and green onions, and puree on high speed. With the motor running, add the oil in a thin stream and process until emulsified. Remove from the blender and refrigerate in an airtight container until ready to serve. (The vinaigrette will keep for up to 1 week refrigerated.)

  • Yield: 1 generous cup

Candied Walnuts:
  • Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the walnuts and cook, stirring, until golden brown and toasted, 3 minutes. Add the sugar and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Transfer to a piece of waxed paper to cool.

  • Yield: 1/2 cup


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