If blue cheese is your thing then this stunning cheesecake is definitely something for you! The phyllo pastry is buttery, light, golden and crispy and it is filled with chunks of Président’s creamy blue cheese and their spring onion and chives medium fat cream cheese. When I mention the word Président, I am not referring to JZ…but to the well-known cheese producer, Simonsberg that has been rebranded to Président. The cheeses will still be made locally in the Cape and the taste, quality and price of the products will remain exactly the same.
The base of this delicious treat is made from ricotta and eggs. To season this bake, I added basil (an Ottolenghi inspiration) and some extra freshly sliced spring onion. Do not try to replace the ricotta mix with a cream and eggs – I have tried this and to my frustration it was a complete flop. If you bake it in a quiche tin, then the cream and egg mixture would be fine but I wanted the cheesecake to keep the beautiful shape of the Bundt pan. I also opted to use big chunks of the blue cheese to allow the yummy earthy flavour to come through.
Serve with …
Serve it for brunch, a light supper or as a first course at a dinner party … and of course with a glass of your favourite glass of cold wine. We had it for lunch with a crisp, fresh salad, blue berry compote and fresh blueberries.
Blue berries and blue cheese?
Blue berries have a sharpness that makes them especially good when pairing with blue cheese. A chef in West Vancouver, Canada, Warren Gerghty serves a blue cheese cheesecake on top of brioche and with blue berries simmered in brown sugar and vanilla. My heart! My taste buds said no to the vanilla but a big yes to a dash of our sweet South African port. If you don’t have port you can substitute it with medium dry sherry.
You can assemble this dish up to 24 hours ahead and store it in the refrigerator until you are ready to bake. You may need to add a few minutes onto the baking time, so watch it closely toward the end. Serve the same day.
Don’t think about baking the dish the day before and then to warm it up for your friends the next day. Please! No, no, no. All the crispness is gone the next day and it also tastes drier. So rather assemble it the previous day and Bake it about two hours before your friends arrive. It needs to cool for a full two hours in the Bundt pan.
Blue cheese cheesecake with blueberry and port compote
6 phyllo pastry sheets
8 cup Bundt pan
butter, for greasing the pan
300 g Président creamy blue cheese, torn into chunks
100 g Président spring onion and chives medium fat cream cheese
650 g ricotta cheese
3 large eggs, lightly beaten
2 garlic cloves, grated
1 spring onion, finely sliced
10 g basil (one big handful), chopped
2.5 ml salt
2.5 ml black pepper
75 g butter, melted
Heat the oven to 190 °C. In a large bowl, combine all the ingredients except the melted butter. Grease an eight-cup Bundt pan generously with some butter. Drape two sheets of phyllo on top of Bundt pan, poke a hole into the phyllo where centre tube is and push phyllo into pan to line it. Do this with two more sheets placed perpendicular to the first two sheets. Add the last phyllo sheets in this crisscross manner. Edges of phyllo should hang over the edges of the pan. Mix all the other ingredients together except the melted butter. Spoon the ricotta cheese mixture into the pan. Fold edges of the phyllo pastry over the filling. Using a sharp knife, poke about 10 holes in the dough so that it reaches all the way to bottom of pan. Slowly pour the melted butter over the cheesecake; some butter will seep through holes and some will remain on top of dough. Bake for 1 hour 30 minutes, or until cheesecake is puffy and golden brown. Allow to cool in the pan for 2 hours before inverting onto a wire rack and slicing. Serve warm with a spring salad and fresh blueberries or with blueberry compote.
150 g blueberries
10 g sugar
50 ml port
Simmer all ingredients over low heat for 10 minutes. Set aside to cool.