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Four Cheese Cheesecake · GF (15 portions)

I made this cheesecake because I wanted a dessert evocative of a classic cheese plate, so serve it with homemade graham crackers and port and honey poached dried fruit to stay on theme.

This recipe will make one 8” round and 4” deep cheesecake (toweringly tall cheesecake is the only way to go) or 15 individual cheesecakes. Yes, I know that’s a lot of cheesecake, but this is a party dessert, not an after school snack. I also envision many people don’t have ring molds or mini-pans, so I wanted the recipe big enough to fill a New York style, super deep cheesecake pan.

Of course, you can halve the recipe if you’d like, but don’t blame me when you run out of cheesecake or when you bake up a short, stumpy, totally not impressive 8” cheesecake that’s only 2” tall…

poached apricots, figs, and individual cheesecakes

This recipe works splendidly with other cheeses too, but this is my most favorite combination. It’s also my only recipe that doesn’t call for salt; the Bûcheron and Saint-Marcellin have enough salt to season the whole thing just perfectly. If you substitute them for different cheeses, you may find you need to add a pinch of salt to the recipe. Just have a taste before you add the eggs and add salt as needed.

Four Cheese Cheesecake
6 ounces Bûcheron, room temperature
2 1/2 ounces VBC Petit Crottin, room temperature
5 ounces Saint-Marcellin, room temperature
1 pound sugar
2 Tonga vanilla beans, split & scraped (pods reserved for poached dried fruit)
2 lemons, juiced; if you want a pronounced lemon flavor, use the zest too.
3 pounds of cream cheese, room temperature
5 eggs

Prepare 18, 3” ring molds by covering one end of each with a square of tinfoil, to create a “bottom.” Then flip the ring molds over and brush with melted butter or grease lightly with pan spray. Alternately, use 3” or 4” spring form pans, or bake off 1 large 8” cheesecake. This recipe will overflow a 3” deep pan, so be sure to use one at least 4” deep. Something like this one. If you make the 8” one, you will need to bake it, on a sheet pan, for about an hour and a half.

Preheat the oven to 275°

In a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream together the three cheesy cheeses, rind and all. Scrape down the bowl occasionally, but keep mixing until the cheeses are perfectly creamy. Add the sugar, vanilla scrapings, and lemon juice, blending only until homogeneous.

Then scrape the cheeses into a mesh sieve, set the sieve over the same bowl you mixed them in, and press the cheese mixture through with a spatula. This will remove any hard lumps of rind that may have not broken up. Set aside the strainer, without washing; you’ll need it later.

Now add the cream cheese in with the other cheeses and mix on low speed. The goal here is to make a silky smooth, homogeneous mixture, not to incorporate any air, which will cause the cheesecakes to bubble and crack. So always mix on your lowest speed, and scrape the bowl down often to make sure no unmixed bits remain.

Continue mixing on the slowest speed until the sugar no longer feels gritty. Do not overmix, just dissolve the sugar. Now shut off the mixer.

In a separate bowl, whisk the eggs together until uniform. Then pour them into the sieve, over the cheese mixture, and whisk lightly to help them pass through. (Actually, if you leave them just sitting in the sieve for about 5 minutes, gravity will do all the work for you. If you don’t have the time, just whisk, whisk, whisk.)

After whisking or letting them sit, discard any eggy bits that won’t pass through the sieve.

Now add the eggs in to the cheese mixture and turn the speed on to the lowest setting. Mix for just for a minute or so, until the eggs incorporate fully.

Arrange the prepared ring molds, mini-cheesecake pans, or large cheesecake pan on a sheet pan. Portion the batter into the prepared pans (about 5 1/2 oz each for 3” ringmolds). Do not overfill or your cheesecakes will overflow!

Place the sheet pan in the oven and cover the cheesecakes with a second sheet pan. This insulates them, keeping them moist and retaining their creamy white color.

Bake at 275° for about 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, remove the top sheet pan and bake another 15 minutes uncovered. The cheesecakes tend to rise a little more during the last 15 minutes of baking, which means if they’re still covered, they will stick to the second sheet pan.

Continue baking until the cheesecakes have puffed slightly and no longer jiggle when you shake the pan; it’s okay if they still have a wee bit of wiggle to them, but all out waves of cheesecake means “keep baking.” You may, depending on your oven, need to rotate the pan every 15 minutes or so to ensure even baking.

For a large cheesecake, you will probably need to bake it for an hour and a half, or possibly longer depending on your oven. Keep an eye on it and cover with foil if it gets too brown.

Cool for an hour at room temperature, then carefully run a thin, metal spatula around the edge of each cheesecake. The cheesecakes should still be warm enough that the ring molds will slide right off. The cheesecakes themselves will still be warm and soft enough that you won’t be able to pick them up. So just refrigerate them for an hour, until they firm up enough that you can pick them up and peel off the foil. Store them in an airtight container, or wrapped in plastic, in the fridge for up to two weeks.

If you make a large cheesecake, refrigerate overnight before unmolding and slicing. The cake will be so huge and dense it genuinely needs 24 hours to set up properly.

I think the cheesecakes are best when allowed to sit out, like real cheese, for an hour or two before consuming. Serve with warm White and Tawny Port Honey Poached Fruit and a few homemade Graham Crackers.

Fork!

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Any questions?

Apr 26, 2011 ·  9:20 PM

I’ve baked many cheesecakes, but never one with all the listed cheeses. I can’t wait to try your recipe! Thanks for sharing.

 · Gale Reeves · http://www.bakingpictures.blogspot.com

Sep 15, 2011 · 12:41 PM

This sounds killer! I need to try this ASAP. And speaking of using interesting cheeses in desserts, have you seen this? http://www.davidlebovitz.com/2006/02/roquefort/

I think it looks crazy good – or maybe good crazy.

 · Kat · http://cookiecosmopolitan.tumblr.com/

Sep 16, 2011 · 12:11 AM

@Kat, haven’t seen that one per-se, but I’m a huge fan of blue cheese in dessert, and especially in ice cream!! Had some blue cheese ice cream with poached pears on a menu last year. I love that sweet/savory boarder line…

Stella

Apr 13, 2012 · 11:28 AM

This recipe looks fantasticly tasty and I would love to feature your blog on mine, if you don’t mind. Let me know!
Gorgeous pictures! I love the play on cheese and wine.

 · Lively Girl · http://livelyglutenfree.com

Apr 15, 2012 · 12:02 PM

@Lively Girl, I don’t mind at all, thanks for including me.

Stella

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