I have been searching high and low for a simpler version of the amazing and delicious quiche. Although I love baking day on a winters’ day, extra time for a pie crust, (kneading, resting, rolling, blind baking etc. etc.…) is too hard to find with three boys, a hubby and a lively dog! That’s why I was so excited when Bon Appetit magazine published a recipe for a crab cheesecake. That was my inspiration for this recipe.
This is a savoury cheesecake. It’s the same principle as a sweet, New York style cheesecake: cream cheese, eggs, sour cream but without the sugar of course. A mixture of fresh breadcrumbs and grated Parmesan cheese replaces the biscuit crust. I wanted to make it lighter so I used part ricotta, part cream cheese for the filling. I also added feta cheese, which gave it a nice tang.
It came out phenomenal! I couldn’t believe how tasty this was. It’s creamy, cheesy, flavourful and the pumpkin works soooo well with the mushrooms. It took me ¼ of the time it takes to make quiche. It’s delicious eaten warm, at room temperature or straight out of the fridge. Serve it on a toasted slice of a French sourdough or plain with a nice green salad. Eat it for breakfast, brunch, and lunch, with your afternoon tea or for dinner. It’s that good!
For the crust
- 2 cups fresh breadcrumbs
- ¾ cup Parmesan cheese, grated
- 1 tsp Italian seasoning
- 80 grams unsalted butter, melted
For the filling
- 2 Tbs unsalted butter
- 2 Tbs olive oil
- 1 medium onion, finely chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, crushed
- 2 ½ cups pumpkin, diced
- 4 cups Portobello mushrooms
- 1 spring onion, sliced
- ½ cup packed parsley leaves, chopped
- ¾ cup feta cheese, cut in small dice
- ½ cup cheddar cheese, grated
- 400 grams Philadelphia style cream cheese
- 250 grams tub ricotta cheese, drained
- ¾ cup sour cream
- 4 large eggs
- ¼ tsp chilli flakes (optional but so tasty!)
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Preheat oven to 175 C. Line the base of a 23cm (9”) round spring-form pan with greaseproof paper.
Make the crust by combining all ingredients together in a bowl. Mix well making sure all the crumbs are moistened with the melted butter. Press the mixture all over the base and sides of the prepared pan. Bake crust for 18-20 minutes until golden.
In a large skillet, melt the butter with the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the onions and cook stirring for a couple of minutes until soft. Add the garlic and pumpkin and cook stirring often, until pumpkin is cooked but not mushy. Add the mushrooms and cook 2-3 minutes longer until mushrooms are cooked through. Take pan off the heat and add the spring onion, parsley and feta cheese. Mix well. Season with salt and plenty of black pepper (be generous!).
In a large bowl beat the cream cheese, ricotta and eggs until creamy and smooth. Add the pumpkin-mushroom mixture in the bowl and mix. Add the cheddar cheese and chilli flakes and mix again.
Transfer mixture in the baking pan, over the baked crust. Bake cheesecake for 65-70 minutes until cooked. The centre may still wobble a little but will firm up once it’s cooled.
Cool cheesecake in the baking pan to room temperature. Run a spatula round the sides of the pan to release the cheesecake. Remove the sides of the pan. Transfer cheesecake on a serving plate. Cut in wedges and serve. Everyone will be asking for seconds.