Heads up everybody, this smoked salmon cheesecake is a-mazing. I think it’s got everything you could ever want in an appetizer – great looks, personality, a wonderful smoky flavor, and you can spread it on a cracker! What’s more, it travels well, freezes well, and wows everybody who tastes it. Try it once and I bet it’ll become ‘the thing you bring’ to every party going forward. You’ll be famous for it, mark my words. Go ahead, claim it as your own, no one needs to know you found it here, I won’t tell. I adapted it from Cynthia, who’s made it every Christmas for years. It’s that kind of recipe, once you try it, you’ll want to make it your signature dish.
This is perfect for any occasion, but since Valentine’s Day is just around the corner, that’s what I was thinking about. I made it in two small sized cheesecake pans, each 4 1/2 inches in diameter. I figure you can eat the first one and freeze the second for a later rendezvous. The recipe is easy to put together, and the concept is fun. The name alone….savory smoked salmon cheesecake…lets you know this is seriously sensuous stuff.
The ingredients really speak for themselves…smoked salmon, smoked Gouda cheese, shallots, cream cheese, lemon and dill are the main players. A couple of eggs bind it all together. It’s simple straightforward comfort food, packaged as a fancy appetizer…brilliant. I used Wild Smoked Keta Salmon from Morey’s Fine Fish and Seafood, which is naturally hickory smoked, and the flavor is just perfect for this cheesecake. The fish has a firm texture, too, which is important, because you want the finished cheesecake to have obvious bits of that glorious pink salmon throughout. Just pulse it lightly in a food processor for the right texture. The smokey flavor of the salmon is enhanced by the smoked Gouda cheese, and the whole experience is lovely.
The cheesecakes bake gently in a low oven, and a water bath helps everything cook evenly, just like you would do with a dessert cheesecake. I cooked them until there was no more jiggling and the center felt firm to the touch, about 50 minutes.
I blended sour cream and lemon juice for the topping which gives it a nice zing. You can decorate the cake any way you like, but I think it lends itself to sprigs of dill and tiny blossoms from the yard.
Absolutely change out the salmon for another smoked fish like trout or whitefish. Switch out the Gouda for Jarlsberg, Swiss, or really anything you like. Make it your own, after all, you’re going to be famous for it :)
- 1/4 cup panko, or Japanese, breadcrumbs (or regular breadcrumbs)
- 1 tsp finely minced fresh dill
- 1 Tbsp finely grated smoked Gouda cheese
- butter for greasing the pans
- 1 Tbsp butter
- 1 large shallot, peeled and minced
- an 8-oz package of cream cheese
- 2 large eggs
- 1/2 cup grated Smoked Gouda cheese
- 1 Tbsp finely minced dill
- 1/2 tsp salt
- juice of 1/2 lemon
- a 4.5 oz package of Morey's Wild Smoked Salmon
- 1 cup sour cream
- juice of 1 lemon
- Preheat the oven to 325F
- Butter 2 small cheesecake pans (mine are 4.5 inches in diameter) and wrap the bottoms and sides with foil to prevent leakage in the water bath.
- Mix the bread crumbs with the tablespoon of cheese and dill, use your fingers to lightly toss them to combine. Coat the bottom and sides of each pan with the mixture. Sprinkle any remaining crumbs along the bottom of each pan.
- Meanwhile melt the butter in a skillet and saute the shallots for about 5 minutes until they are translucent. Set aside to cool.
- Put the cream cheese in the bowl of a food processor and run the machine briefly to soften it. Blend in the eggs and process until well combined.
- Add the cooled shallots, smoked Gouda, dill, salt, and lemon juice to the bowl and pulse several times to combine.
- Add the smoked salmon to the bowl, breaking it up into large chunks as you add it. Pulse the machine a few more times, just until everything is well combined but not pureed. You want a little bit of texture in the mixture.
- Divide the mixture evenly between the two pans, smoothing over the top with a flat knife.
- Set the pans in a baking dish. Pour an inch or two of hot water into the baking dish to form a water bath.
- Bake the cheesecakes for about 50 minutes, or until they are no longer jiggly in the center and the tops feel firm.
- Let the cheesecakes cool before removing them from the pans and 'frosting.
- Make the sour cream topping by whisking together the sour cream and lemon juice. Spread over the top of the cooled cheesecakes.
- Decorate the cakes with some sprigs of fresh dill and tiny blossoms. Serve with crackers and lemon wedges.
Cut the ‘cake’ into small wedges and spread on good crackers. It has a soft pate, or mousse-like consistency, and there are nice chunks of salmon and little bits of shallot and dill throughout. Be sure to serve little slices of lemon along with it so everybody can squeeze a bit of juice onto each bite. I’m getting hungry just thinking about it!
Morey’s has been fishing sustainably and environmentally responsibly since 1937, and that’s important to me since we all have choices when it comes to what we buy and eat. Morey’s smoked and frozen fish comes in so handy when I don’t have the time to go out and buy fresh fish for dinner. I keep a couple of packages of smoked fish in the freezer for this cheesecake, but also for quick pasta and egg dishes. Grant likes to eat it plain, with cream cheese and crackers. You can find their products in national and regional grocery store chains.
*This post is in association with Morey’s, but of course all opinions are my own.