I have come to love making jam so that I can enjoy the summer bounty in the depths of winter. They are easily turned into dessert ( pop tarts anyone?), but can also make a perfect party appetizer on top of cheesecake.
While an herbed savory cheesecake was a perfect base to my tomato jam before, I wanted more of a blank canvas for a batch of strawberry rhubarb caramelized onion jam that I made this summer. Pumpernickel pretzels and walnuts turned out to be a fabulous choice for this treat, and it's absolutely perfect for entertaining.
Although, if you don't want to share, I won't tell ;)
You can make this in a regular 9 or 10" cheesecake pan for a party, or perhaps a few smaller 4" pans for a smaller gathering. Prefer the individual size? A mini cheesecake pan or a muffin tin work as well.
To make pretzel crumbs, grind up pumpernickel pretzels in the small bowl of a food processor. Measure out 1c of the crumbs and combine with walnuts (these could also be ground up/chopped in the food processor). Add melted butter and stir until well combined. Press into desired baking pans. Bake 7-10min, then transfer to a rack to cool completely. Turn oven down to 250deg.
While the crust is cooling, prepare the filling. Cream together cream cheese and goat cheese in a stand mixer. Add salt and pepper and mix well. Add eggs, one at a time, making sure each is well combined. Pour into cooled crust, be sure not to fill more than 3/4 up the pan. Tap cheesecake on the table to allow any air bubbles to come to the surface.
Bake (30min for minis, 45 for 4" and 1 1/2-2hours for a 9 or 10", the top will be set and no longer be jiggly). Remove and place on a wire rack. Mine had cracks, but I didn't mind since I was covering it with jam. Once cooled, refrigerate until ~1hr before serving. Top with the jam of your choice and serve!
I know we just passed the holiday season, what was your favorite party food?