Miniature Crab and Mushroom Cheesecakes

A Fabulous Starter: Savory Cheesecake with the Full Flavours of Mushroom and Capsicum

The savory filling of this cheesecake is similar to a quiche’s. The crumbly cheese cake base contrasts beautifully with that smooth texture. The flavours are earthy and satisfying.

As the dish is wonderful when served at room temperature, it is a great make-ahead starter for any dinner party.

 

Ingredients
(from the blog ‘A Communal Table’)
Serves 12 (one miniature cheesecake a person)

1/3 red bell pepper (DE/NL: paprika)
50g melba toast
25g butter
1 tbsp oil
150-200g assorted wild mushrooms
75g shallots
2 tbsp dry sherry
375 – 460g cream cheese, room temperature (DE: Frischkaese)
Salt, pepper
Grated nutmeg
2 large eggs
55ml whipping cream
100g gruyere cheese
3 tbsp fresh chives
130g crab meat (I had to resort to using a can)

Recipe

  1. Grill the capsicum to remove the skin (for instructions see “Tips&Variations”)
  2. Preheat your oven to 190C.
  3. Prepare your muffin tin by cutting two strips per cup and laying them in cross-wise (to help you lift out the cheesecakes). Then cut circles the size of the tins and place them on top of the strips. (You can skip making the strips but I would strongly recommend making the circles).
  4. Grind the melba toast until you have fine crumbs. Melt the butter in the oven and combine with the crumbs. Evenly spread the mixture over the muffin tins (about 1 tbsp per tin). Bake 10 minutes or until golden.
     
  5. Cut the mushrooms into small pieces. Heat oil in a frying pan. Sauté mushrooms until the mushrooms are just starting to brown and the liquid has evaporated (about 10 minutes).
  6. Chop the shallots and add to the mushroom. Sauté until tender (about 2 minutes).
  7. Add sherry and cook until evaporated. Set aside and allow to cool.
  8. In a mixing bowl beat the cream cheese until soft.
  9. Season with salt, pepper and nutmeg.
  10. Beat in eggs one at a time. Mixing in well after each addition.
  11. Add the cream and beat until thoroughly combined.
  12. Grate the gruyere.
  13. Cut capsicum into very small cubes.
  14. Chop chives.
  15. Combine all the prepared ingredients with the cream cheese and add crab meat.
  16. Spoon the filling into the prepared muffin tins about 2/3 full.
  17. Bake 20-35 minutes or until the tops are golden and a skewer comes out clean.
  18. Let the cheesecakes cool slightly and serve warm or at room temperature.

 

Tips & Variations

How to remove the skin from the capsicum:

  • Turn on the grill of your oven.
  •  Remove the seeds from the capsicum.
  • Cover a baking sheet with aluminum foil and flatten the pepper, skin side up, on the baking sheet.
  • Grill until blackened.
  • Remove from the oven and wrap the foil around the capsicum to hold in the steam.
  • Let sit until cool enough to handle.
  • Peel off the skins.

 I always prepare more capsicum than I need for the dish I am making. I then wrap the remaining pieces individually in cling film, freeze them in a single layer for about 1-2 hours and then transfer them to a freezer bag for future use.

 

Serve with
Some fresh tomatoes and/or rocket salad.

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