Chèvre Cheesecake With Pecan-Pretzel Crust

Savory cheesecake is a great way to showcase the flavor of fresh goat cheese. This tangy and savory cheesecake makes a lovely addition to any spring brunch spread, either served as an appetizer with mixed greens tossed in a light vinaigrette or as an unexpected dessert. There are endless ways to play with ingredients and flavors to fit the seasons, too.

This recipe is a variation on one given to me by my good friend Amanda, who hails from the Gulf Coast of Alabama. She adds hot sauce, Creole mustard, green onions and andouille sausage – yes, sausage – to her savory cheesecake. Try an even more decadent version by adding lump crab, chives and toasted garlic. Savory cheesecake is also a great vehicle for your favorite chutney, dried fruit, candied nuts or pepper jelly.

Chèvre Cheesecake With Pecan-Pretzel Crust

If you prefer to omit the fresh goat cheese, increase the cream cheese to three 8-ounce packages.

Yields | 1 9-inch cheesecake |

Pecan-Pretzel Crust

  • 1 cup salted pretzels
  • ½ cup pecans
  • 2 Tbsp packed brown sugar
  • 2 Tbsp melted unsalted butter

Cheesecake Batter

  • 2 8-oz packages cream cheese
  • 1 cup fresh goat cheese
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • ¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 Tbsp minced fresh thyme
  • 4 room-temperature eggs
  • 2 tsp Champagne or sherry vinegar
  • ½ cup shredded or crumbled sharp cheese (white Cheddar, asiago, Gouda, Feta or blue)

| Preparation – Crust | Preheat oven to 350°F. In the bowl of a food processor, pulse pretzels, pecans and brown sugar to a fine crumb. Stir melted butter into crumb. Press mixture into the bottom and up the sides of a 9-inch springform pan. Bake until golden brown and firm, about 15 minutes. Keep oven at temperature.

| Preparation – Batter | In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat cream cheese on medium speed until soft, creamy and nearly to room temperature. Add goat cheese, salt, pepper and thyme; cream until smooth. Scrape bowl well and begin adding eggs, one at a time. Scrape sides of bowl between additions. Finish by stirring in vinegar and remaining cheese by hand.

Pour batter into prebaked crust in springform pan. Transfer to oven to bake until puffed and a light golden color with only a slight jiggle in the center, 50 to 60 minutes. Cool to room temperature and then chill in refrigerator for 4 hours before serving.

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