Roquefort Cheesecake

Adapted from Garde Manger. This cheesecake is not a dessert; rather a savory appetizer that is always a plus for holiday entertaining. This recipe can be made several days in advance of serving.

3 shallots, minced
5 Tbsp unsalted butter, divided
3/4 cup dry bread crumbs
3/4 cup chopped pecans or walnuts, toasted
3/4 lb French Roquefort
19 oz cream cheese
2 Tbsp King Arthur Flour
4 large eggs
1/8 cup heavy cream
2 Tbsp fresh dill, chopped

Preheat oven to 300°F. In a small skillet, sauté shallots in 1 tablespoon of butter, until soft. Set aside to cool. Brown breadcrumbs in the remaining butter; add the nuts. Cool. Cover outside of a 9-inch springform pan with heavy-duty aluminum foil. Cut a circle of parchment paper to line the bottom, inside the pan.

Press crumb mixture onto bottom of pan. Line sides of pan with a paper collar. In a food processor, blend Roquefort and cream cheese until smooth. Add shallots, flour, eggs, and cream. Blend in dill, and pour into prepared pan. Place in a 160°F water bath and bake in preheated oven 45 to 50 minutes, or until set. Allow to cool, and refrigerate for at least 12 hours.

To serve, remove side of pan and paper collar. Turn cake, top side down, onto a flat surface. Remove bottom of pan and parchment paper. Turn, bottom side down, onto serving platter. Garnish with grape tomatoes and sprigs of fresh dill. Serve with crackers or thinly sliced DLM French Baguette.

Variation: Omit garnish and top cake with 4 ounces of julienne smoked salmon and chopped chives. This recipe can also be divided into two 6-inch pans to serve at smaller gatherings.

Makes 24 servings

Allergy Warning: Contains milk and eggs and wheat and other nuts