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Maple Sausage Cheesecake

 Maple Sausage Cheesecake
Don't be fooled by the name of this truly tempting appetizer. The savory-sweet starter has the consistency of a cheese ball, making it well received at any kind of get-together. —Paula Marchesi, Lenhartsville, Pennsylvania
24 ServingsPrep: 35 min. Bake: 55 min. + chilling

Ingredients

  • 1 pound bulk maple pork sausage
  • 4 cups cubed Italian bread, toasted
  • 1/2 cup pine nuts, toasted
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted
  • 3 packages (8 ounces each) plus 1 package (3 ounces) cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 4 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1/2 cup grated Asiago cheese
  • 2 green onions, finely chopped
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • Assorted crackers

Directions

  • Place a greased 9-in. springform pan on a double thickness of
  • heavy-duty foil (about 18 in. square). Securely wrap foil around
  • pan.
  • In a large heavy skillet over medium heat, cook sausage until no
  • longer pink; drain and set aside.
  • In a food processor, combine bread cubes and pine nuts; cover and
  • process until crumbly. Transfer to a small bowl; add butter. Press

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Maple Sausage Cheesecake (continued)

Directions (continued)

  • onto the bottom and 1-in. up the sides of prepared pan; set aside.
  • In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese, sour cream and cream until
  • smooth. Add eggs; beat on low speed just until combined. Stir in the
  • Asiago cheese, onions, pepper flakes, pepper and salt. Pour into
  • crust. Place springform pan in a large baking pan; add 1 in. of hot
  • water to larger pan.
  • Bake at 350° for 55-65 minutes or until center is almost set.
  • Remove springform pan from water bath. Cool on a wire rack for 10
  • minutes. Carefully run a knife around edge of pan to loosen; cool 1
  • hour longer. Refrigerate overnight. Remove sides of pan. Serve with
  • crackers. Yield: 24 servings.
Nutritional Facts: 1 slice (calculated without crackers) equals 269 calories, 24 g fat (13 g saturated fat), 100 mg cholesterol, 275 mg sodium, 6 g carbohydrate, trace fiber, 7 g protein.