Did you cringe, or lick your pork-loving lips when you read bacon cheesecake? Lots of people raise an eyebrow and purse their lips when I mention savory cheesecake. I think we instinctively visualize a decadent slice of creamy, sweet dessert when we say “cheesecake,” so bacon catches us by surprise. But pair a smoky bacon Gouda and Gruyère cheesecake with crusty bread or an assortment of crackers and nuts on a charcuterie board and you have an appetizer sure to keep your guests parked at the snack table.
Maybe the oddity of savory cheesecake is kind of like when dessert pizza came into our lives. It sounded weird but it didn’t take us long to substitute cherries and streusel for pizza sauce and pepperoni.
But please, let’s not go back to shredded carrots in a jiggly mold of apricot JELL-O.
How do you eat savory cheesecake?
Of course you can simply eat savory cheesecake with a fork as it is the consistency of cheesecake or a cheeseball, but when I serve it, we spread it on crackers, crusty bread, cucumbers, and carrots, or scoop it up with tortilla chips.
Variations to baking cheesecake in jars
I’m showing you this smoky bacon Gouda and Gruyère cheesecake in 4-ounce canning jars but you can bake this recipe in cupcake papers in a regular cupcake pan for the same amount of baking time.
If you use mini cheesecake pans (like the taco cheesecakes pictured below), reduce the baking time to approximately 20 minutes. (I use these pans from Chicago Metallic.) For a traditional 9-inch springform pan, extend the baking time to 60 minutes.
Baking savory cheesecake in 4-inch springform pans (taco shown below) is a fun way to serve cheesecake as an appetizer too. You can cut each cheesecake into six tiny triangles for individual portions.
Share with me – have you tried savory cheesecake? If so, what kind? Do you bake your own cheesecakes? If not, why? Share your comments below.
Smoky swine wishes,
Smoky Bacon Gouda and Gruyère Cheesecake
- 14 4-ounce glass mason jars
- electric mixer
- 1½ pounds bacon cooked, crumbled, divided
- 1½ cups fine cracker crumbs
- 5 tablespoons salted butter, melted
- 2 tablespoons yellow cornmeal
- 24 ounces cream cheese, 3 (8oz) packages, softened to room temperature
- ½ cup sour cream, at room temperature
- ¼ cup liquid smoke
- 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
- 2 eggs, at room temperature
- 1 cup shredded Gruyère cheese
- 1 cup shredded Gouda cheese
- parsley, optional for topping
- Heat oven to 350°F. Lightly grease 14 (4-ounce) glass canning jars and place on a cookie sheet.
- Cook bacon and crumble it into bite-sized pieces. Set aside 1/2 cup to use as topping when serving. The rest will be added to the cheesecake batter.
- In a medium bowl stir together cracker crumbs, melted butter and yellow cornmeal. Evenly distribute into the jars and press down with a tart shaper or your fingers. Bake 7 minutes or until slightly browned. Remove from oven and cool.
- Reduce oven to 300°F.
- Place cream cheese in a large mixing bowl and beat it with the paddle attachment on medium high until smooth, approximately 3 minutes. Add the sour cream, liquid smoke and Worcestershire sauce. Beat until combined and smooth.
- Add the eggs and beat them in on low, stopping to scrape down sides of bowl once. Stir in the diced bacon (reserving ½ cup for topping), Gruyere and Gouda.
- Scoop the batter into jars, leaving approximately half an inch at the top. Bake the cheesecake 30 minutes or until the tops are just set and the centers jiggle slightly. Remove from oven. Cool to room temperature.
- Cover and refrigerate the cheesecake at least 8 hours before serving.
- Before serving, sprinkle the tops with reserved bacon and parsley. Serve at room temperature with a spreader or knife and crusty bread, crackers, tortilla chips, or sliced raw vegetables.
- Keep jars covered and refrigerated up to one week.
All text and images © Staci Mergenthal • Random Sweets