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Savoury Chestnut Cheesecake with Onion Marmalade
A seasonally-flavoured, savoury cheesecake which is perfect for entertaining. Serve on a buffet table or with some mixed salad for an informal super, it is also suitable for vegetarian guests.
- 85g butter plus extra to grease the tin
- 175g savoury oatmeal or unsweetened digestive biscuits, finely crushed
- 500g ricotta cheese
- 200g cream cheese
- 4 medium eggs
- 175g medium matured Cheddar cheese, grated
- 225g cooked, shelled whole chestnuts, cut in half
- 1 tablespoon freshly chopped thyme leaves plus extra leaves to decorate
- ½ teaspoon nutmeg
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 2 red onions, peeled and finely sliced
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon dark balsamic vinegar
- 2 teaspoons wholegrain mustard
- 1 tablespoon soft brown sugar
- Splash Tabasco© sauce
- Pre-heat the oven to 170°C/150°C fan/Gas Mark 3
- Lightly butter the sides of the springform tin and line the base with a disc of baking paper.
- Melt the butter in a small pan and add the finely crushed biscuits and combine. Spoon the crushed biscuit mixture into the tin and press down flat to cover the entire base allowing the biscuit mixture to come a little way up the sides. Chill for 30 minutes.
- To make the filling blend the ricotta and cream cheese together in a large bowl. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, and mix in the grated Cheddar cheese, chestnuts, chopped thyme, nutmeg and black pepper.
- Pour the mixture on top of the chilled base, smooth over the top and bake in the centre of the oven for 50-55 minutes.
- While the cheesecake is cooking make the onion marmalade. Melt the butter in a large flat-based pan and add the onions and salt. Cook over a low heat, stirring occasionally for 10-15 minutes until caramelised. Add the balsamic vinegar, mustard, sugar and Tabasco® sauce to taste. Continue cooking for 8-10 minutes until sticky, taking care not to let it burn. Remove from the heat and set to one side until required.
- Remove the cheesecake from the oven and allow it to cool before removing the springform outer. With the aid of a round-ended palette knife slide the cheesecake from the base and baking paper on to a flat serving plate.
- Top with a few, fresh thyme leaves and serve with the red onion marmalade in a separate dish. Best served at ambient temperature or lightly chilled. If making in advance, cover the cheesecake and store in the refrigerator, removing 1 hour before required.
- Prepared, cooked chestnuts can be found in the supermarket either in cans or vacuum packed.
- The baking paper is to aid the transfer of the biscuit base.
- A food processor will blend the biscuits finely.