13 October 2011

Savory Pumpkin Basil Cheesecake Spread

Savory Pumpkin Basil Cheesecake Spread
This fluffy and savory spread only takes 10-15 minutes of actual prep work... 
now that's how I like to bake!  The majority of the time it's in the oven or cooling in the fridge.  

Hellooooo easy make-ahead appetizer for parties & potlucks!

Pumpkin Basil Cheesecake
 
What's in it?
1/2 cup ricotta cheese
1/2 cup cream cheese
1/3 cup crumbled feta or goat cheese
6 fresh basil leaves, chopped
2 tablespoons green onions, chopped
3 heaping tablespoons of canned pumpkin
8 Ritz crackers, crushed
1 large egg
1/2 tsp sugar
a pinch of salt
butter to grease the pan
a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil

Gadgets Utilized
4 1/2 inch spring-form pan
a baking dish of any type, around 8x8 in size
a food processor

You will totally want to invest in one of these bad boys:
Scoop up this adorable 4 1/2 inch spring-form pan at Michael's craft store for $3 with one of their printable coupons [found here]

Worth. Every. Penny.


Get Baking!
[adapted from Giada at Home Preheat oven to 350F.  Measure out your cheeses and allow to reach room temperature along with one large egg.  Prep your springform pan by lining the bottom with parchment paper and lightly greasing the sides with butter.  Next wrap the outside of the pan in one layer of heavy duty foil or two layers of regular foil.  To do this, cut two large squares of foil, place the pan on top, centered, and fold to make a barrier along the bottom and sides, leaving the top open for your cheesecake.  Place the pan in a baking dish and set aside.

Combine cream cheese, ricotta, and feta in your food processor.  Pulse to gently mix.  Next add your egg, sugar, pumpkin and a pinch of salt and pulse again.  Whatever you do, don't skip the egg,  I did a few rounds of recipe testing with this and the egg-less version just didn't have the right texture/taste.  Lastly, add the chopped green onion and torn/chopped basil to the mixture and pulse gently to mix.  

I decided to mimic a cheesecake even further and add the traditional cracker crust to the bottom, using savory Ritz crackers instead of sweet graham crackers.  Crush crackers and combine with a 1/2 Tablespoon or so of melted butter.  Spread evenly onto the parchment paper at the bottom of your spring-form pan and top with your cheesecake mixture.

Place your spring-form pan inside your baking dish and fill with enough hot water to reach about halfway up the cheesecake pan, but no higher.  Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 50 minutes.  When finished, the cheesecake will be golden around the edges and wiggle a little when gently shaken.  Turn off the oven but leave the cheesecake to cool down slowly in the oven for an hour.  After an hour has passed, cover with saran wrap and place the cheesecake in the fridge for a minimum 3 hours to set the shape.  It can be chilled in the fridge up to 2 days before serving, making this a perfect make-ahead appetizer!  After carefully removing from the pan, plate and serve room temperature [leave out for 30-60 min before serving] with crusty toasted bread or your favorite crackers.  Drizzle with olive oil before serving for a glossy and tasty garnish!

Savory Pumpkin Basil Cheesecake
Savory Pumpkin Basil Cheesecake
So... How was it?
SOoOoOooo GOOD!  I knew when I snuck a taste from the food processor that it was going to rock... but the second I could smell it in the oven, I had to refrain from popping a squat infront of it to anxiously await my snack.  It smells fabulous and tastes even better!  Especially on crusty bread... *cue angels singing*

If you are one of the lucky ladies who live here and are reading this, I'm totally making you this spread.  Its RIDICULOUSLY good!  Though it takes some time to bake, you don't have to babysit this at all!  Just set a timer and go about your day.  You'll put in maybe 10-15 minutes of actual effort for a savory cheesecake that looks and tastes like it should be served in a fancy restaurant.  In fact, one of my favorite restaurants back in Florida serves a savory artichoke cheesecake that this recipe beats the pants off of.  Paul said so =)

If you're throwing a party or attending a potluck of sorts this holiday season, totally make/bring this instead of a store bought cheese spread.  It's light and fluffy with fantastic flavor!  



serving a hungry mob?
Whip up a Savory Spinach and Artichoke Cheesecake to go alongside it!

Spinach and Artichoke Cheesecake

What's the best cheesecake you've ever had?

Pin It!

54 comments:

  1. That is a masterpiece if I ever saw one!

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  2. Did you take this picture on a sweater?! love it! The cheesecake looks amazing, so creative! Springform pans and water baths scare me but for pumpkin + basil I might give it a try ;)

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  3. Holy crap this looks awesome! Love how it looks like a cheese wheel when it's all done. Super cute!

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  4. Ah and Shannon's comment just made me notice the sweater! You are awesome.

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  5. Wow this looks extremely impressive. I can't imagine what it must taste like. Thanks for sharing!

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  6. Well this is gorgeous and just sounds fantastic!

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  7. Oh this sounds wonderful!!! Love pumpkin recipes!

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  8. This is great! I love taking dishes like this to parties - they look (and taste) impressive but only take 10 mins to create. Bookmarking fo' shizzle!

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  9. Interesting! I think this would be a fantastic alternative to the classic cheeseball youn often see at parties.

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  10. Yum! Yum! Yum! This just sounds amazing! Too bad everyone around me either hates cream cheese or can't eat it. Is it bad if I just make the whole thing for myself... :)

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  11. I want some!!! It looks fabulous. I think I'm totally going to go back to Michael's and get the mini springform. I love your point about portions. <3 <3

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  12. Oh wow that looks sensational! Love cheese spreads! My friends is doing a fall themed bridal shower, I'm so linking this to her!! :)

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  13. I am not a huge cheesecake fan but this sounds good. I made an incredibly good choc cheesecake once. Too rich to eat an entire piece though.

    The Kidless Kronicles

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  14. This seriously lookssss amazzinnngggg! I love cheesecake both savory and sweet so this is awesome! Go you with all these awesome recipes! xoxo

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  15. I knew I had seen this on Giada. I need to invest in one of those teeny springform pans. So cute, and this dip looks awesome. I think I may have to make it for Thanksgiving. :)

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  16. great job, girl. I love savory cheesecakes... and I think my favorite cheesecake is a simple New York style... Mmm...

    I LOVE my springform pans - regular size and mini! :D

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  17. This looks INCREDIBLY delicious! I've go to try this. I'll need to get one of those nifty pans though. Guess I'll have to take the food processor out of the box too, the mini one I got at the rummage sale would be too small. Mmmm...cheeses...

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  18. Savory cheesecake are one of my absolute favorite things, in the world!!!!! This looks killer, and I love that I can use my little springform pan for it!

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  19. oh my!!! this looks so fancy!!! i can't wait to try this. :)

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  20. What an interesting dish!! Perfect for the upcoming holiday season!

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  21. Looks SO yummy! Okay, sorry if you've already addressed this, but how did you get that cutie "Pin" button? Is there some easy code I can pop in? I love that!

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  22. You're a genius! This is amazing...I'm def making it for a party this weekend!
    I've always loved standard plain old cheesecake...mmmm!

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  23. Bring it Saturday?

    -Jordan

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  24. Oh my... YUM!! You have the most amazing recipes! Aah!!

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  25. What an interesting recipe... I have never thought of doing cheesecake in a savory way! Clearly I need to branch out more :)

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  26. HOLY MOLY this looks DELICIOUS. So yummy!

    I made a white chocolate cheesecake that was pretty AMAZING.

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  27. This looks SUPER delicious - and I love "easy-to-make" things, because if they aren't easy right now, I simply don't make them! YUM!

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  28. You always make such pretty food. Mine usually looks like cat vomit. Really, I should learn from you. Ha!

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  29. I am totally marking this little beauty for Thanksgiving!

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  30. I'm so making this for my next get together!!

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  31. Oh man this looks good...I was questioning the whole savory cheesecake till I saw the ingredient list. Loving the Ritz cracker crust. I cannot wait to try this one out...I am thinking figs would be great too!

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  32. So, even though I'm not lucky enough to live near you, you can totally send that on dry ice and I'll gobble it right up. Yum!

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  33. oh yum! That looks so delicious and somehow it also looks like the raw cheesecake I recently made.. :)

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  34. You are magnificent (and so is that cheesecake spread). Yum! I WISH I lived there so you could make me some. I still need to get to your peppers........ what happens to my days? :)

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  35. YUM, this looks amazing, thank you for the recipe!

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  36. Love the idea of this but despite your encouragement this seems totally out of my cooking league. springform? Would never have known if you didn't insert photo. I'm having people over for halloween but I really don't know if I'm up for this challenge, how lame is that? I cook constantly I'm just baking shy.

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  37. I made this last night, I'm serving it at a dinner tonight. Turned out PERFECT!!!! Can't wait to 'wow' all of the party guests with it!

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  38. That looks so delish and what a CUTE idea with the ritz crust! Can you really taste the pumpkin?? I bet sage would taste good mixed in there too...it goes so well with pumpkin!

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  39. That looks SOOOOOOO good! It really makes me wish we ate dairy. Have you ever played around with cashew cheesecakes?? ;)

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  40. I so love basil and this recipe sounds awesome!!

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  41. Mmm this looks amazing!
    I have seen so many pumpkin recipes lately, I really want some!
    The pictures are gorgeous :-)

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  42. I've had savory cheesecake once before, but this one sounds even better. Because: pumpkin!

    I'm getting a grown-up camera soon so you totally need to teach me how to take pictures like yours. Your photos are so pretty!

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  43. man that looks good! Im going to try this for one of our summer wine and cheese nights! now to find a spring pan small enough!

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  44. Hi there - I wanted to stop by and let you know that I featured this awesome recipe in my pumpkin post yesterday! I hope you will stop by and check it out.

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  45. This looks insane! Who would have thought basil and pumpkin. I'm adding this to my Thanksgiving list!

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  46. Try as I might, I cannot replicate my favorite cheesecake, but I will happily keep trying... Jenn, I love this recipe and wanted to tell you I have featured you on www.CraftingHarmony.com today (Tuesday). Thank you for another great recipe and post! ~Lori (from Kitchenfunk & Crafting Harmony)

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  47. Oh wow wow..what a amazing flavor of this cheesecake! I don't like it, I love it! Awesome photos too! Thank you for sharing and have a lovely day!

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  48. Jennifer@TheFooderyTuesday, September 25, 2012

    ooh, looks and sounds delicious!!! Never had a savory cheesecake before, sounds perfect for potlucks. Beautiful pictures, too! :)

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  49. Thanks Jennifer!!!! I'm a little addicted to savory anything -- I've still yet to make a sweet one! Def need to change that eh? ;)

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  50. Glad I did a practice run of this recipe.... I didn't get a good seal with the tin foil and ended up with a soggy mess.... Could have used some better instructions on that. The flavor was pretty good though... Well the top half. I am gonna try again and tweak to get more pumpkin flavor, and I think a little less onion and one more egg. Thanks for the recipe idea! I love the concept.

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  51. Aww sorry about the wet cheesecake! I just figured it was a given since you're submerging it in water, but I absolutely appreciate the suggestion and I'll add in a note to wrap it as tight as possible! Or to "double bag" it even! It's easily adjustable to taste so pumpkin it up! I love my onion and add extra to mine. My poor husband ;) haha! Hope you have a fabulous holiday!

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