Makes one 7- or 8-inch cheesecake
1 cup fresh breadcrumbs (from a loaf of French bread, sweet or sourdough)
1 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1½ pounds cream cheese, room temperature
7 ounces (a little less than a ½ pound) Stilton cheese, crumbled
¼ cup heavy cream
¼ cup Port wine
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Grease a 7- or 8-inch springform pan with butter or pan spray.
2. In a small microwave-proof bowl or in a small saucepan on the stove, melt the butter. In a medium bowl, mix together the breadcrumbs and Parmesan cheese. Add the melted butter and mix well. Pour the crumb mixture into the bottom of the pan and press down firmly, making sure to press the crumbs to the edge of the pan. Place the pan on a baking sheet and bake the crust for 12-15 minutes, or until golden brown. Remove from the oven and set aside.
3. Reduce the oven temperature to 350°F.
4. In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese until it is smooth, then add the Stilton cheese and mix well. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the cream and Port, mixing until combined. Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl well. On low speed, add the eggs one at a time, scraping the bowl after each addition. Remove the bowl from the mixer and stir in the lemon zest by hand.
5. Pour the custard into the prepared pan and then put it on a baking sheet and into the oven. Bake the cheesecake for 45-55 minutes, or until done. The cheesecake will rise similar to a soufflé, but not quite as much, and the top should be lightly browned. Remove from the oven and let cool before storing in the refrigerator.
6. To serve, cut a wedge of the cheesecake and serve with some Pear Chutney on top and surrounded by whole wheat and/or rosemary crackers (I prefer Carr’s).