NUMBER 1 – Savoury Salmon Cheesecake
approx 6-9 savour biscuits or crackers (depending on size)
Knob of butter
2 x 50g parmesan or pecorino cheese
500g cream cheese (anything you like, philly, mascarpone etc)
100ml double cream
100g gruyer or emmental cheese
100g cheddar cheese
2tbs fresh tarragon (dry is good too)
250g smoked salmon
2 slices dry bread
1. Lightly butter a 20cm round tin (springform is best). Oven at 180ºC/gas 4.
2. In a food processor blitz the crackers and 1 50g piece of parmesan to a fine crumb. Pour this into the tin and shake and tap around the tin so that all the sides and the bottom are well covered in the crumb. Set aside.
3. Put the cream cheese and cream in a large bowl and beat together until smooth. Add the cheeses, tarragon and some white pepper and combine. Whisk the eggs to a foam and gently fold these into the cheese mix. Fold in the salmon.
4. Gently pour this in the tin and smooth out to the sides and level off the top.
5. You will now need a piece of foil that is larger that the tin and a large roasting tin. Put the cake tin on the foil and bring it gently up the outside of the tin, do not get any holes in it, as it is to prevent any water getting into the tin in the oven. Place this in the roaster and place in the oven. Take a jug of water to the oven and pour into the roaster so that it comes 2/3 of the way up the cake tin. Bake for 45 mins.
6. Blitz the bread and the 2nd piece of parmesan to a rough crumb. Gently remove the cake from the oven and sprinkle this on the top (red Leicester could also be added for extra colour) and then gently return to the oven for a further 30 – 40 minutes. The cheesecake should be firm but still have a slight wobble in it and be golden on the top. Turn off the oven and take out the roasting tin. Remove cake from the roaster and return it to the oven for a further 45 minutes with the door slightly ajar. Then remove from the oven and allow to cool fully before removing from the tin.
Tips – Do not rush this cheesecake, if you notice it browning too fast in the oven, turn the oven down a little and cook it for longer, treat it like baked custard you want the heat to gently set the eggs.
I know it’s dessert week but we are only a small family, and we could not quite manage 3 sweet cheesecakes. So it’s a savoury one for dinner, sweet one to munch through and the baked one sliced into portions and frozen for a later date. Almost any cream cheese will do, and any solid cheese too, use your favourites but just remember that it is to go with salmon so should not be too strong. Or, omit the salmon and have something strong and blue like stilton. You could add hardy veg like peppers, onion or chilli peppers too. We enjoyed ours with chips and a large green salad.
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