When I was last at Costco perusing their wine section, I noticed they had Sauternes. It’s one of the most famous dessert wines from the Bordeaux region of France. Unlike the American method labeling of wines based on grape variety, European wines are commonly labeled by the region it was produced. Each AOCs (Appellation d’origine contrôlée) is very strict about what type of grapes, growing region, yield, and overall characteristic flavor and aroma of the wine, so in order to put a specific appellation on the label all those requirements must be met.
Out of interest, I purchased a bottle and began to ponder how to enjoy it. It can certainly can be sipped and enjoyed on its own, but I thought of the classic pairing of Sauternes with foie gras. Of course, foie gras is illegal for sale and purchase in California so something else would have to do. I searched around the internet for other potential combinations and decided upon something containing Roquefort. The cheese is rich, salty, and has a very distinct flavor of its own which I thought might be a nice contract to the sweetness and fruitiness of a dessert wine. Then I thought a savory Roquefort cheesecake might be nice as it would have a creamy and smooth texture.
I took my base recipe for cheesecake and modified it so that it would be suitable for this savory alternative. I prefer cheesecakes that are rich and dense as opposed to the light and fluffy variety, so a food processor is used here instead of a stand mixer to minimize incorporation of air into the mixture.
Roquefort Cheesecake RecipeYield: 3, 6″ small cheesecakes or 1, 9″ cheesecake
- 1.5 pounds cream cheese (3, 8 oz packages), room temperature
- 8 oz Roquefort Cheese
- 1/3 cup Greek yogurt
- 4 eggs, room temperature
- Juice and zest of 1/2 lemon (not pictured above)
- 1 spring of rosemary, chopped
- 1 small bunch thyme
- 1/2 Tbsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp black pepper
- Salt, to taste
- Butter for greasing the pan
1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
2. Line the bases of the pans with parchment paper, and grease the sides of the pan with butter.
3. Add the cream cheese, Roquefort and the Greek yogurt into a food processor and blend until smooth. Scrape down often as there is no sugar in this recipe to act as an abrasive to help you out here. Once smooth, taste it to see if salt is needed. Mine needed about 1/2 tsp more.
4. Add the eggs one at a time, adding the next egg when the previous one has been fully incorporated.
5. Add the lemon juice, zest, garlic powder, pepper, rosemary and thyme and blend for another 5 seconds.
6. Fill the pans with the batter, and thump it a few times on the counter to get the large air bubbles out. Create a water bath by placing the cheesecake into another deep pan that allows at least 1″ clearance on all sides, and place in the oven. Immediately fill the pan with hot water so that it reaches at least halfway up the height of the cheesecake.
7. Bake until the center is just set and the top is lightly browned, roughly 55-60 minutes. (Time will vary based on size of pan – so check often!)
8. Remove cheesecake from oven when done. If it’s too difficult to safely remove the water bath, take the cheesecake out and leave the water bath until it’s cooled down enough to take out of the oven. Cool the cheesecake completely and refrigerate in the pan until thoroughly chilled before attempting to remove from pan or serve.
I was able to make 2, 6″ cheesecakes and about a dozen mini ones about 2″ across. Enjoy as is or top with pear preserves and toasted or candied walnuts.