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Pesto Cheesecake

Prep time
1 hr
Side dishes
Special Diets
Recipe adapted from The Dinner Party Cookbook ©1999 by Karen Brown


Serve this rich appetizer at your next special gathering. Be sure to allow enough time for overnight chilling.


1 Tsoft butter
1⁄4 cbread crumbs
2 tfinely grated parmesan cheese
16 ozcream cheese
1 cricotta cheese
1⁄2 cfreshly grated parmesan cheese
1⁄4 tsalt
1⁄8 tcayenne pepper
3 large eggs
1⁄2 cpesto
1⁄4 cpine nuts, toasted
  assorted toasts and crackers for serving


Preheat oven to 325°F. Use the butter to coat the bottom and sides of a 9-inch spring-form pan. In a small bowl combine the breadcrumbs and 2-teaspoons finely grated Parmesan cheese; press the mixture into the buttered pan and set aside. In a large bowl, beat the cheeses with the salt and cayenne pepper, using an electric mixer. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each. Ladle half of the egg mixture into a separate clean bowl and add the pesto to it, mixing well. Pour the pesto mixture into the prepared spring-form pan; carefully top with the plain egg-cheese mixture. Smooth the surface and sprinkle evenly with the pine nuts. Bake in the preheated oven for 45 minutes, or until set. Cool the cheesecake at room temperature, then cover and refrigerate at least eight hours. When ready to serve, loosen the from the sides of the pan with a knife, then release the pan and transfer cheesecake to a serving tray. Arrange toast slices and/or crackers around the cheesecake for serving. Makes about 20 appetizer servings.