Cheesecake…Basil…..Parmesan what do these have in common you ask?

Chef Lippe Parmesan Basil CheesecakeA savory holiday appetizer that is light, airy, creamy and slightly salty with just the right amount of either sweet or tang! These will be the hit of the season.  As the wife of a chef and cheese affineur there is no shortage of different cheeses to experiment with. Then when the “snowbirds” hit the Florida town of Vero Beach there is no shortage of test tasters at the local farmers market Saturday mornings. We will be back at the market December 1st .

Just think a strawberry (it is almost time for local Florida strawberries) champagne mojito, the Christmas tree ready for decorations and these tasty little treats for the evening.

Ingredients

  • 1 ¼ cups cracker crumbs
  • 4 tablespoons melted butter
  • 1 egg white
  • 16 ounces cream cheese at room temperature
  • 1 cup shredded parmesan cheese
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 2 large eggs room temperature
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. In a small bowl combine cracker crumbs, butter, egg white until combined.
  3. Press ½ tablespoon of the crumb mixture into each well of a mini cheesecake pan.
  4. Bake crust in oven for 10 minutes. Remove crust from oven and allow to cool for at least 5 minutes.
  5. Turn oven down to 300 degrees.
  6. Add the cream cheese, parmesan, basil, sugar, eggs and salt to blender. Puree until smooth.
  7. Fill each well of the pan ½ way with mixture.
  8. Bake for 15 – 20 minutes, or until edges are dry but center is still a little jiggly. Refrigerate overnight.

Toppings

For a sweet topping chop fresh strawberries sprinkle with sugar and garnish the top of each cheesecake.

For a tangy topping top each cheesecake with tomato jam. This is available at most farmers markets or gourmet food stores.

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