Friday, July 31, 2015

Savory Rosemary, Pancetta & Fig Cheesecake

Savory Rosemary, Pancetta & Fig Cheesecake

When guests come over for a gathering, I know they're always expecting something amazing the second they walk in the door.  That's why I usually make THEM bring the appetizers!
There are times though when I'M the one in charge of starting things off, and this is the perfect recipe to make a great first impression!

Creating the perfect balance in an appetizer always involves different flavors and textures.  This one has them all!  It's got acidity, savory and sweet flavors, with both creamy and crunchy textures.  It incorporates both Olive Oil and Balsamic Vinegar, two of my favorite Italian ingredients, always by Bertolli!

I serve this dish with some rich, buttery crackers and an extra drizzle of Bertolli Olive Oil, right as it goes before everyone's eyes.  It NEVER disappoints!

Savory Rosemary, Pancetta & Fig Cheesecake

For the Cheesecake:
Savory Rosemary, Pancetta & Fig Cheesecake
  • 4 tbsp. Bertolli Olive Oil, plus 1 tbsp.
  • 3 egg whites
  • 4 oz. marscapone cheese
  • 8 oz. cream cheese
  • 2 tbsp. chopped fresh Rosemary
  • zest of 1 large lemon
  • 2 tbsp. whole grain Flour
  • 1/4 tsp. each salt and pepper
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Make sure all ingredients are at room temperature before starting.
  2. Combine 4 tbsp. Bertolli Olive Oil, cream cheese, marscapone cheese, egg whites, chopped rosemary, lemon zest, flour and salt/pepper in a large bowl. Mix with an electric mixer or stand mixer on high speed for about 2 minutes until light, creamy and fluffy. 
  3.  Use a paper towel to grease a 6” cake pan with 1 tbsp. Bertolli Olive Oil.  Line the bottom and sides with parchment paper.
  4. Pour the batter into the cake pan and place it in the oven with a water bath that comes 1/2 way up the cake pan.  Bake for 30 minutes at 350 degrees.  Remove from the bath and oven, and allow it to cool for at least an hour before removing it from the pan (you may need to run a butter knife around the sides to free it from the parchment paper on the sides).

 For the Topping:
Savory Rosemary, Pancetta & Fig Cheesecake

  • 2 tbsp. Bertolli Olive Oil, plus more for drizzling
  • 1/4 cup Bertolli Balsamic Vinegar
  •  4 oz. diced Pancetta
  • 2 tbsp. brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup chopped, fresh figs, plus 2 whole fresh figs for garnish
  • 1/4 cup toasted Pine nuts
  • 1 tbsp. fresh thyme, plus 3-4 fresh sprigs for garnish
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  1. In a large skillet, heat the Bertolli Olive Oil on medium heat.  Add the pancetta and brown it on all sides for about 3 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  2. Add the Balsamic Vinegar, brown sugar, figs, toasted pine nuts, fresh thyme and salt.  Stir to combine and bring the entire mixture to a boil.  Reduce the heat to a simmer, and allow the mixture to reduce and caramelize, about 15 minutes. 
  3. Remove the mixture from the heat and pour it over the top of the cheesecake.  Drizzle with a thin layer of Bertolli Olive Oil right before serving.  
  4. Cut the additional fresh figs in half and place them on top of the cheesecake.  Garnish with the additional thyme sprigs.
  5. Serve with buttery crackers and your favorite white wine.

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