So not long ago, my brother’s wife had a baby. It was a beautiful baby girl, which means the Martin boys are now 0 for 3 in the grandson category. Which is fine as each daughter; 1 for me and 2 for him, bring us all lots of joy, and while it might be nice to throw a boy into the mix, it will be fun to watch the three girls grow and bond. But, I digress. This isn’t about the new baby in the family, although I do congratulate my brother and his wife on the beautiful baby they have brought into this world. I mention that only because my parents were up to help with the new baby, and their 3 year old, so on a Saturday we invited them down to our house for a nice brunch, to give both them, and my brother’s family a little rest (I won’t allude to which party needed a rest more than the other since both my parents, and my brother read this blog). Normally I would do a big, traditional breakfast, but I was in the mood for something a little different and since my parents wouldn’t be arriving until late morning I thought a lighter, appetizer inspired brunch would be just the thing.
I decided that I wanted to do a savory cheesecake as kind of the centerpiece to the spread and since I had been craving shellfish for the past few days I decided that I had to do a Crab Cheesecake.
Whether for a brunch buffet, appetizer buffet, or light lunch (along with a salad) savory cheesecakes are great, especially since they are best prepared the day ahead an allowed to chill over night. Because we were a smaller group I didn’t want to make a full sized cheesecake, so instead I created a recipe to fill 2 7″ springform pans. That would be 1 for us and 1 to send home to the new parents. Even if I was throwing a larger party I would probably still do the 2 smaller pans. Going that route will help keep the buffet looking nice. With a full sized cheesecake it starts looking sloppy after half of it is gone. This the smaller cheesecakes things look a lot more tidy. But if you really want to make a larger cheesecake I would probably prepare 1 1/2 – 2 times the amount of filling. The crust ingredients will probably be enough for 1 large pan.
makes 2 7″ cheesecakes
2/3 cups Ritz Crackers, crushed
2 Tb. Butter, melted
8 oz. Cream Cheese,softened
1/4 cup Sour Cream
2 Eggs, slightly beaten
1/2 tsp. Old Bay seasoning
3-4 splashes Hot Sauce (Tabasco, Crystal or other)
10 oz. Crabmeat, picked clean
Preheat the oven to 350°F. In a small bowl combine the crackers and butter. Mix well and press into 2 7″ springform pans. Bake for 10 minutes then remove from oven and lower the temperature to 325°F.
Meanwhile combine the cream cheese and sour cream and mix until smooth. Add the remaining ingredients and mix until well combined.
Pour into the springform pans and smooth the top as best you can.
Place in the oven and bake for 30 minutes. Turn off the oven, prop the door open slightly and allow to sit in the oven for 15 minutes longer.
Run a knife around the edge of the pans to loosen then remove the ring from the base. Allow to cool to room temperature before placing in the fridge to chill completely.
To serve for a buffet you can “frost” the cheesecake with sour cream for a more elegant look and then garnish with herbs or just go with an herb garnish. Place on a plate surrounded by crackers and serve. For a plated meal, cut into wedges and serve individual slices plated with a small salad.