Friday, March 4, 2011

Day 2: A Blue Cheese Brunch


My friend the Triple Crème Queen offered to throw a party. She knew I was devoting the month of March to blue cheese, so she offered to host a brunch. No one timid was invited.

She made a beautiful blue cheesecake.




It looked like a moonscape. Picture a smooth surface with tiny blue craters. I wanted to put a flag in it, claim it as unchartered territory, but turns out recipes for blue cheesecake abound on the Internet. Come out, come out, blue-cheesecake lovers, wherever you are.

Triple Crème baked up a recipe from her favorite chefs, Eric Patterson and Jennifer Blakeslee, at Cook's House in Traverse City, Michigan. The recipe called for two pounds of cream cheese and 8 ounces of creamy blue (she used Saint Agur). Alongside: vanilla pear compote.



I think this cake is the perfect vehicle for conversion. By that I mean: conversion experience. Say you are a Blue Cheese Skeptic, or say you live among the Uncertain. I meet them all the time – people at the cheese counter who won’t let anything blue pass their lips, although they think nothing of eating a hotdog. Okay. Hmm.

The texture of this cake is dense and crumble-moist.

As you eat it, you taste a winged sweetness, so faint. Then Saint Agur flutterkicks – a bold but gentle move. The pairing of blue cheese with pears is classic, so the compote fits like a habit on this nun.

I had to take a picture – really, I was moved to – after I ate the first bite. Just so I could relive the experience on lonely lettuce nights.

If you can’t find Saint Agur, try a creamy blue like Maytag, Cashel, or Black Castello.




Blue Cheese Cheesecake with Pear Compote

1 cup sugar
3 tablespoons flour
5 eggs
2 pounds cream cheese, room temperature
8 ounces blue cheese, broken into small pieces

6 firm, ripe pears
2 cups Riesling wine
½ cup sugar
1 vanilla bean, cut in half lengthwise
zest of ½ orange
juice of ½ lemon

For the cake:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Grease a 9-inch springform pan.
Put 1 cup sugar, flour, eggs, and cream cheese in a bowl. Combine using an electric mixer, mixing until smooth. Carefully fold in blue cheese. Don’t over-mix or you’ll end up with a grey cake. Pour into springform pan. Bake 45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Refrigerate for at least 6 hours before unmolding.

For the pear compote:
Cube the pears – no need to peel them. Combine the wine and ½ cup sugar in a 4-qyart pot. Bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve sugar. Add vanilla bean, pears, and orange zest. Coook for 5 minutes – the pears will get tender and the sauce will thicken – then pour into a bowl. Add the lemon juice, mix well and cool.

Serve compote alongside slices of cheesecake, along with glasses of Ice Wine, Champagne, or Sauternes.


For dessert: Triple Creme served the most sensuous brownies, dotted with sea salt and pistachios. She is a Charlie's Angel, this girl. You must meet her. Her brownie recipe is over at her blog, Aesthetically. Be sure to dilly-dally.



  1. beautiful pictures. can't wait to try that cheesecake!

  2. Blue cheese cheesecake might be the perfect solution for the manflesh's disdain of most cheesecake.

    The brownies look great, but I'm already mentally concocting brownies with creamy blue cheese swirls on top.

  3. Mentaly concoct, dietplaid, and let me know what you come up with. I searched for some recipes online the other day but didn't find any. I think a brownie with some Bleu d'Auverge, which is creamy and on the mild side, could be brilliant!

  4. Let's make this an annual event, good madame. The blue cheesecake turned out to be the perfect brunch food - a little savory, a little sweet. I only used half cup of sugar in the cake (although it calls for a whole cup).

  5. I LOVE THIS! Saint Agur is one of my faves for sure. Those brownies look scrumptious. I don't bake as well as I cook but I'm always up for a challenge.

  6. Ah, good to note the change in sugar measurements! I loved that this cheesecake rode the line between sweet and savory.