A savory appetizer cheesecake such as this one, dotted with tender crabmeat, is sure to grab the attention and tempt the taste buds of party guests. It's an elegant spread that you make ahead, so there's no last-minute fuss.
- 1 cup crushed butter-flavored crackers (about 25 crackers)
- 3 tablespoons butter, melted
- 2 packages (8 ounces each) cream cheese, softened
- 3/4 cup sour cream, divided
- 3 eggs, lightly beaten
- 2 teaspoons grated onion
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- 1/4 teaspoon seafood seasoning
- 2 drops hot pepper sauce
- 1/8 teaspoon pepper
- 1 cup crabmeat, drained, flaked and cartilage removed
- Additional seafood seasoning, optional
- In a small bowl, combine cracker crumbs and butter. Press onto the bottom of the greased 9-in. springform pan. Place pan on baking sheet. Bake at 350° for 10 minutes. Place pan on a wire rack. Reduce heat to 325°.
- In a large bowl, beat cream cheese and 1/4 cup sour cream until smooth. Add eggs; beat on low just until combined. Add onion, lemon juice, seafood seasoning, hot pepper sauce and pepper; beat just until blended. Fold in crab. Pour over crust. Return pan to baking sheet.
- Bake for 35-40 minutes or until center is almost set. Cool pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Carefully run a knife around edge of pan to loosen. Cool 1 hour longer. Spread remaining sour cream over top. Refrigerate overnight.
- Remove sides of pan. Let cheesecake stand at room temperature for 30 minutes before serving. Sprinkle with seafood seasoning if desired. Refrigerate leftovers. Yield: 20-24 appetizer servings.
Originally published as Creamy Crab Cheesecake in Taste of Home December/January 1999, p25
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