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Crabmeat Cheesecake with Pecan Crust
Makes 8 Servings
*3/4 cup pecans
*1 cup all-purpose flour
*1/4 tsp. salt
*5 tbls. butter, chilled
*3 tbls. ice water
*1/2 cup finely chopped onion
*1 tbls. butter
*4 oz. crabmeat
*8 oz. cream cheese, softened
*1/3 cup Creole Cream Cheese or sour cream
*2 eggs
*1 tbls. Crystal hot sauce
*Kosher salt and white pepper to taste
*1 lemon, peeled, cut into quarters
*1/2 cup Worcestershire sauce
*1/2 cup Crystal hot sauce
*1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
*1 lb. (4 sticks) butter, chopped
*Kosher salt and white pepper to taste
*2 cups sliced mixed wild mushrooms
*2 tbls. butter
*Sauteed crab claw fingers
1FOR THE CRUST, preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grind the pecans fine in a food processor. Add the flour and salt and process to mix. Remove to a large mixing bowl and cut in the butter with 2 knives until the mixture resembles small peas. Add the ice water and mix just until the dough holds together.
2Roll the dough 1/8 inch thick on a lightly floured surface. Press into a lightly greased 9-inch tart pan, starting with the side and then the bottom. Bake for 20 minutes or until golden brown.
3FOR THE FILLING, reduce the oven temperature to 300 degrees. Saute the onion in the butter in a saute pan until translucent. Add the crabmeat and cook just until heated through; remove from the heat.
4Beat the cream cheese in a mixer fitted with a paddle or with a wooden spoon until smooth. Add the Creole Cream Cheese and mix well. Mix in the eggs one at a time. Fold in the crabmeat mixture gently. Stir in the pepper sauce and season with kosher salt and white pepper.
5Spoon the filling into the prepared crust and bake for 30 to 40 minutes or until firm to the touch.
6FOR THE SAUCE, combine the lemon, Worcestershire sauce and pepper sauce in a heavy saucepot. Cook over medium heat until thick and syrupy, stirring constantly with a wire whisk. Whisk in the cream.
7Reduce the heat to low and add 1 pound butter one piece at a time, mixing until completely incorporated before adding more butter. Remove from the heat and stir until very smooth. Season with kosher salt and white pepper. Strain through a fine strainer and keep warm.
8Saute the mushrooms in 2 tablespoons butter in a skillet until the mushrooms are tender and the moisture has completely evaporated; excess moisture from the mushrooms may cause the sauce to break when the mushrooms are added. Stir the mushrooms into the sauce.
9To serve, slice the cheesecake and place on serving plates. Top each serving with the warm sauce and garnish with 3 sauteed crab claw fingers.
  • Crabmeat Cheesecake with Pecan Crust is one of our signature dishes at Palace Cafe and one of our most requested recipes. It's also great as an hors d'oeuvre when cut and served in bite-sized pieces. We like to garnish it with crab claw fingers lightly sauteed in butter.
  • If the dough for the Pecan Crust is made in advance, wrap it in plastic wrap and store it in the refrigerator. Allow it to return to room temperature before rolling it.

Dickie Brennan, Palace Cafe, New Orleans, LA