Serving a savory cheesecake at Forks & Corks 2016 was a bit of a gamble for Euphemia Haye, admits executive chef/restaurateur Ray Arpke.
“I love my savory cheesecake but it is a hard sell,” he says. “People don’t usually think of cheesecake as savory. It’s almost like Parmesan, Gorgonzola and cheesecake shouldn’t be in the same sentence.”
But the risk taking worked out in Arpke’s favor when the crowd at the January event adored the unorthodox dish.
“Everyone who is adventurous enough to try the cheesecake loves it,” Arpke says.
SAVORY PARMESAN AND GORGONZOLA CHEESECAKE
For the breadcrumb mix crust:
1½ cups Ritz cracker crumbs
⅓ cup clarified butter
Mix the breadcrumbs and butter together. Press the mixture into the bottom and up the sides of a 9-inch spring form pan.
For the filling:
1 pound cream cheese (at room temperature)
1 pound ricotta cheese (at room temperature)
¼ teaspoon white pepper
4 whole eggs
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
½ cup Gorgonzola crumbles
In a food processor, blend the cream cheese, ricotta, salt, and cayenne and white pepper, for 3 to 4 minutes. Scrape the bowl down a minimum of 3 times. With the processor still running, add the eggs one at a time, allowing 30 to 40 seconds between additions. When all eggs are added, process for another 2 to 3 minutes, scraping the bowl occasionally. Add the Parmesan and pulse until it is distributed into the batter evenly. Pour the batter into a cracker-crumb-lined pan. Top evenly with Gorgonzola crumbles. Bake the cheesecake in the oven at 350 degrees for 45 minutes. Let the dish cool for 10 to 15 minutes.
For the topping:
⅔ cup sour cream
½ cup sliced green onion tops
8 ounces diced bacon
Fry the bacon until it is crisp. Drain the bacon thoroughly, place it on a paper towel, and cool it to room temperature.
For full cheesecake assembly:
After the cheesecake cools, spread the sour cream evenly over the top. Sprinkle the green onion tops and bacon evenly over the sour cream, and gently press the sprinkled ingredients down. Run a sharp knife around the outside edge of the cheesecake. Carefully remove the spring form pan. Cut the cheesecake into 8 to 12 slices and serve warm.
Euphemia Haye | 5540 Gulf of Mexico Dr., Longboat Key | 941-383-3633 | euphemiahaye.com
Author: Abby Weingarten
Photo Credit: www.dinesarasota.com