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

6 eggs

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
15 peppercorns
10 cloves
¼ cup lime juice
1 quart water
1 large salmon fillet (about 2 pounds)

6 oz watercress, cleaned

Olive oil

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.