Graduation Season! Pepper Jelly Cheesecake

It’s that time of year for graduation parties! Whether the celebration is for high school, college, or a graduate program, it is a memorable time. The honoree is about to begin on a brand new adventure with their whole future ahead of them! Congratulations, Graduates!

Before our move to New England, I worked as a program aide for many years in grades 3-8. I enjoyed working with the students in the classroom. I also did private tutoring sessions on the side, in a variety of subjects, for a variety of ages. I loved that even more. I spent a few years tutoring one particular student that I adored. She was bright, funny, talented, a joy to work with, and very conscientious. Shortly after I moved east to New England, she moved to the Southwest with her family. Through social media, I’ve been able to keep in contact with many of my friends from the Midwest and with the family of my favored student. She is now graduating from high school and has grown into an amazing young woman. I was touched and honored to be invited to her graduation celebration. This Southwestern “cheesecake” appetizer is in her honor!

Pepper Jelly Cheesecake

Pepper Jelly Cheesecake (adapted from alohafromoregon.com) Serves 6-8

  • 5 ounces (about 1 1/4 cups) sharp cheddar cheese, grated
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts
  • 1 green onion, chopped
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3/4 cup (about 8 ounces) pepper jelly

Preheat the oven to 325º F. Place the pine nuts on a baking sheet and toast them in the oven until they are golden, about 8 minutes. Set them aside to cool.

Combine 1/4 cup of the pepper jelly, the cream cheese, garlic, and the cheddar cheese in the bowl of a food processor and mix it thoroughly.

Mix the ingredients together in a food processor.

When it is well blended, stir in the cilantro and green onion.

Add the green onion and cilantro to the cheese mixture.

Line the bottom and sides of a 7″ spring form pan or other 7″ dish with plastic wrap or parchment paper. Spray it with nonstick spray. Add the cheese mixture to the pan, smoothing out the top, and refrigerate it for at least 2 hours.

Spoon the cheese mixture into a 7″pan.

After it has chilled, transfer the cheesecake from the pan to a serving plate, removing the plastic wrap or parchment. Evenly spread the remaining 1/2 cup of pepper jelly over the top of the cheesecake and sprinkle on the pine nuts. Serve with crackers or tortilla chips. Refrigerate any leftovers.

Serve with crackers or tortilla chips.

Congratulations, Graduates!  ~Linda

Pepper Jelly Cheesecake (adapted from alohafromoregon.com) Serves 6-8

  • 5 ounces (about 1 1/4 cups) sharp cheddar cheese, grated
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts
  • 1 green onion, chopped
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3/4 cup (about 8 ounces) pepper jelly

Preheat the oven to 325º F. Place the pine nuts on a baking sheet and toast them in the oven until they are golden, about 8 minutes. Set them aside to cool.

Combine 1/4 cup of the pepper jelly, the cream cheese, garlic, and the cheddar cheese in the bowl of a food processor and mix it thoroughly. When it is well blended, stir in the cilantro and green onion. Line the bottom and sides of a 7″ spring form pan or other 7″ dish with plastic wrap or parchment paper. Spray it with nonstick spray. Add the cheese mixture to the pan, smoothing out the top, and refrigerate it for at least 2 hours. After it has chilled, transfer the cheesecake from the pan to a serving plate, removing the plastic wrap or parchment. Evenly spread the remaining 1/2 cup of pepper jelly over the top of the cheesecake and sprinkle on the pine nuts. Serve with crackers or tortilla chips. Refrigerate any leftovers.

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