Savory Pumpernickel Crust Cheesecake Topped with Smoked Salmon and Watercress
Makes 24 cheesecakes
For Pumpernickel Crust
8 slices of pumpernickel bread
1 ounce Parmesan cheese
1 ounce clarified butter
1 teaspoon salt
Preheat oven to 350F.
Place bread in food processor and chop. Add Parmesan and process to combine well. Slowly add butter to combine.
Using muffin tins, place 1½ tablespoons of breadcrumbs in the bottom of 24 muffins and tamp down.
Place in oven and bake for 5-7 minutes.
Let cool and then spoon in cream cheese, filling about 2/3 full. Place muffin tin on sheet pan and place in oven. Pour water in sheet pan to make water bath.
Bake for 25-35 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool.
For Cheese Cake Filling
2½ pounds cream cheese
10 ounces sour cream
1 egg yolk
1 teaspoon lemon juice
Place cream cheese in a mixer and cream. Add sour cream slowly, always scraping down bowl. Add eggs one at a time and scrape down the bowl. Add lemon juice and a touch of salt.
Hot Smoked Salmon
¾ cup honey
10 allspice berries
2 bay leaves
½ cup sea salt
4 ounces rum
¼ cup lime juice
1 quart water
1 large salmon fillet (about 2 pounds)
6 oz watercress, cleaned
Prepare brine by combining the first 8 ingredients in a saucepan; bring to a simmer.
Add 1 quart of cold water to pot and add salmon filet to the brine. Let sit for 3 hours.
In a tabletop smoker, add wood chips and place salmon on rack. Heat on high heat to get chips smoking, and then turn off the heat.
Place cheesecakes on a serving tray.
Combine watercress and crumbled salmon in a bowl and toss with olive oil. Use this mix to crown the top of cheesecake.