Cheesecake does not always have to be sweet – try this savory version with cheddar, tomato, and fennel. So good!
For the crust:
6.3 oz. (180g) salted pretzels
1.8 oz. (50g) parmesan, grated
1/2 cup (120g) butter, melted
2 tbsp. water, plus more if needed
For the filling:
14 oz. (400g) cream cheese
7 oz. (200g) crème fraîche
3.5 oz. (100g) sour cream
4 medium eggs
1/2 tsp. pepper
1/2 tsp. salt
5.3 oz. (150g) cheddar cheese, finely grated
For the topping:
2–3 tbsp. olive oil
1 small fennel bulb, sliced
2 red onions, sliced in rings
2 garlic cloves, sliced thinly
3–4 stalks of parsley, chopped
15–20 small cherry tomatoes, cut in half
1–2 tbsp. parmesan, grated
1. For the crust add the salted pretzels with the grated parmesan cheese to a mixer/food processor and mix/pulse until you get very fine crumbs. Add the melted butter and water and mix until the crumbs are evenly moist. Press the crumbs together with your fingers, if they don’t hold together well, add a little more water and mix again. Transfer the crumbs to a 9.5 inches (24cm) tart tin with loose bottom and press to the bottom and sides to get a nice thick crust. Set aside.
2. Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C). Add the cream cheese, crème fraîche, and sour cream to a large bowl and mix until well combined. Add the eggs, pepper, and salt and mix well. Add the grated cheddar and fold in. Pour the mixture into the prepared tart tin and smooth out the top. Place in the oven and bake for 35-40 minutes – the edges should have set and the surface of the cheesecake should be firm – the filling can still wobble when you move the tin.
3. While the cheesecake is in the oven, prepare the topping. Wash and dry the fennel, remove the green parts and the base and then slice finely crosswise. Peel the onions and garlic and cut the onions into rings and the garlic into thin slices. Heat up a frying pan with the olive oil and fry the fennel and onions, stirring often, for about 5 minutes over medium-high heat, then add the garlic and continue cooking everything for 10-15 minutes longer until the fennel and onions are soft and nicely browned. Remove from the heat when done, add the chopped parsley, and season well with salt and pepper. Set aside.
4. When the cheesecake has baked long enough take it out of the oven. Distribute the fennel mixture evenly on top of the cheesecake, arrange the tomato halves on top and sprinkle with the grated parmesan. Place the cheesecake back in the oven and bake another 15 minutes – the tomatoes should be soft and the parmesan should be slightly browned. Take out of the oven and let cool down almost completely before slicing. Serve slightly warm or cold. You can store leftovers in the fridge and reheat them in the microwave.
Keywords: cheesecake, savory, tomato, fennel, cheddar