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
Total TimePrep: 35 min. Bake: 55 min. + chilling
- 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 3 ounces cream cheese, softened
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
- 4 large 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
- 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 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.