I recently got Giada De Laurentiis’s new cook book Giada’s Kitchen. The cook book is full of recipes that feature fresh ingredients and a cuisine that is Italy meets California. One of the recipes that caught my eye immediately was the Red Pepper Cheesecake. This mini savory cheesecake appealed to my inner cheese lover. It has 3 types of cheese: ricotta, cream cheese, and goat cheese. The cheesecake is cooked in a 4.5 inch springform pan, which allows it to fit nicely on a dinner plate surrounded with crackers or toast points. It is great as an appetizer at a cocktail party. In the book, the recipe includes steps for making pita chips, but I served it with assorted crackers. My husband loved the touch of the apricot jam on top of the cheesecake. The cheesecake was easy to make and so good. I will probably make it again to bring to an upcoming holiday party.
Red Pepper Cheesecake (from Giada’s Kitchen)
- 4 ounces ricotta cheese, room temperature
- 4 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
- 2 ounces goat cheese, room temperature
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 egg
- Kosher salt
- 2 jarred roasted red bell peppers cut in thin strips and halved (about 1/2 cup)
- 1/4 cup apricot jam
- 1-2 teaspoons hot water
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Wrap the outside of a 4.5 inch round springform pan with 2 layers of heavy-duty foil.
- Place the ricotta, cream cheese, and goat cheese in a food processor and pulse to mix. Add the sugar, egg, and a pinch of salt and pulse a few times until well mixed and thick and creamy. Fold in the red pepper strips with a rubber spatula. Pour the cheese mixture into the springform pan.
- Place the springform pan in a roasting pan and pour enough hot water into the roasting pan to come halfway up the sides of the springform pan.
- Bake until the cheesecake is golden at the edges and the center of the cake moves slightly when the pan is gently shaken, about 45 minutes (the cake will become firm when it is cold).
- Transfer to a wire rack to cool for 1 hour. Refridgerate until the cheesecake is cold, at least 3 hours and up to 2 days.
- TO SERVE: combine the jam and the hot water in a small bowl and stir until the jame is liquified. Remove the cheescake from the springform pan and place on a serving plate. Drizzle the jam mixture over the top of the cheesecake. Serve with pita chips, crackers, or slices of french bread.