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Savory California cheesecake

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Ingredients

  • Crust
  • 1 1/4 cups coarsely chopped pecans
  • 3/4 cup prepared bread crumbs
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted
  • 2 tsp. chopped fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 tsp. minced garlic
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • Freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • Filling
  • 1 1/2 cups low-fat cottage cheese
  • 1 1/2 cups whipped cream cheese
  • 2 eggs, beaten at high speed until foamy
  • 1 1/2 cups grated aged Gouda or Cheddar cheese (or other hard cheese)
  • 1 tsp. fines herbes
  • 1/8 tsp. salt
  • Freshly ground pepper, to taste

Directions

Crust
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine ingredients in a medium bowl and press into the bottom of a 9-inch springform pan. Bake for 10 minutes; cool.

Filling
Drain cottage cheese for 5 to 10 minutes in a large sieve lined with a paper towel. Transfer to a large bowl of an electric mixer and beat for 1 minute, scraping down the sides of the bowl.

Add cream cheese and beat on medium speed to blend.

Scrape down the sides of the bowl and beat for another minute on high speed. Add beaten eggs and continue to mix on medium speed. Add grated cheese, fines herbes, salt and pepper. Mix on low speed until blended. Pour onto baked crust and spread evenly with a spatula.

Bake at 350 degrees for 40 to 45 minutes or until the top bounces back firmly; cool. Refrigerate for 5 hours or overnight before slicing. Serve as an appetizer or first course.

Califonia Bountiful