Irish Cheese and Bacon Cheesecake with Walnut Crust
Do you celebrate St. Patrick’s Day? I’m not even Irish, but the holiday holds a special place in my heart. Six years ago, I studied abroad in Ireland and left part of my heart there. Every time I see something Irish, I get a little homesick. Today, the lovely Jen from Jen’s Favorite Cookies invited a group of bloggers to share our favorite Irish-inspired recipes. I didn’t want to be too traditional, so I made a savory Irish Cheese and Bacon Cheesecake with Walnut Crust.
I’m one of the lucky Americans who got to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day in Ireland. Funny thing is it’s such a touristy weekend. Most locals roll their eyes and usually stay away from the festivities. That’s not to say they don’t celebrate; most of them can be found at the bars from Friday to Sunday and have Monday off from work (the 17th was on a Saturday when I went). If you’re traveling, you pretty much have to make hotel reservations a year in advance. Fortunately, I stayed with a friend in Dublin who was my tour guide for the weekend. We managed to fight and got front row at the parade so I could have a clear view for pictures. That’s one thing I regret – I didn’t take as many pictures as I would if I went back now. Funny how I would take pictures of the major events but not of the little details.
Irish cheese is a unique cheese. It’s not cheddar or mozzarella or Colby jack. It’s Irish cheese. The first brand that comes to mind is Kerrygold. I used a bit of Kerrygold butter when I was in Ireland. My housemates and I called it “the special butter” because we didn’t get it all too often (college budget is tough, especially in another country). Now I can buy Irish cheese and butter in the states and know my food will be extraordinary. The brand really does make a difference sometimes.
Now I know the sound of a savory Irish Cheese and Bacon Cheesecake is a little crazy. Even I was wondering what it would taste like. I saw a recipe for a plain cheddar cheesecake in a magazine, so I thought why not use Irish cheese and throw in some bacon? And boy, was it good. It’s just like eating one of those cheddar cheeseballs you often see at parties. Creamy, cheesy, bacon-y. The walnut crust helps push the “dessert” towards the savory side. Wait, does that make it an appetizer now? And you’re supposed to eat appetizers before dinner so…
Irish Cheese and Bacon Cheesecake with Walnut Crust
A savory Irish Cheese and Bacon Cheesecake with Walnut Crust that tastes like a cheese ball! Serve as an appetizer or savory dessert.
- 2 cups graham cracker crumbs
- 1/2 cup finely chopped walnuts
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
- 24 ounces cream cheese, softened
- 2 1/2 cups Irish cheese, shredded
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1/4 teaspoon dry ground mustard
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/4 cup whole milk
- 3 eggs, room temperature
- 1/2 cup cooked crumbled bacon
- Preheat oven to 375F. Have a 9 inch springform pan ready.
- In a medium bowl, mix together the graham cracker crumbs, walnuts, and melted butter. Press into the bottom and up the sides of the pan. Place on a cookie sheet and set aside.
- In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese until smooth and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes.
- Beat in the Irish cheese, flour, dry mustard, and pepper until combined.
- Gradually beat in the milk then beat in the eggs. Stir in the bacon.
- Transfer the filling into the crust. Bake 40-45 minutes or until it is brown on top and is almost set (it will feel firm when touched and still wiggle a little bit when moved). Let cool until room temperature. Remove the side of the pan then refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight before serving.
Looking for more St. Patrick’s Day recipes? I am joining other awesome bloggers with a St. Patrick’s Day round-up, so check out what they made:
1. Key Lime Pound Cake by Joan at Chocolate Chocolate & More
2. Mini Banoffee Pie Tarts by Kelly at Kelly Bakes
3. Chocolate Bailey’s Mousse Tart from Nancy at Gotta Get Baked
4. Irish Carbomb Cupcakes from Susan at Girl in the Little Red Kitchen
5. Pistachio Caramel Cookies from Jen at Jen’s Favorite Cookies
6. Guinness Stout Mini Bundt Cake from Shanna at Pineapple and Coconut
7. Irish Cheese and Bacon Cheesecake with Walnut Crust by Carla at Chocolate Moosey
8. Bailey’s Irish Cream Cheese Trifle from Anita at Hungry Couple NYC
9. Key Lime Pie Ice Cream from Renee at Magnolia Days
10. Pistachio Mousse Cups from Kim at Cravings of a Lunatic
11. Irish Eggs Benedict from Isabelle Crumb Blog
12. St. Patrick’s Day Cookie Stack from Angie at Big Bears Wife
13. Guinness Chocolate Cake from Jen at Juanita’s Cocina
14. Irish Potato Oatmeal Bread from Sarah at What Smells So Good
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The sound of a bacon and Irish cheese cheesecake does not sound crazy to me. I recently tasted a savory cheesecake for the first time and fell in love. Now I can’t get enough of them. Yours has bacon so that puts it to the top of the to-make list.
I’ve never had a savory cheesecake before this, but I have seen them done. Plus bacon always makes it better ;)
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There are some recipe ideas that I don´t know why they never really took off. Like savory cheesecakes. This is my dream cheesecake Carla! Can´t wait to make it, seriously. Amazing recipe.
I don’t get it either! Even at work they were skeptical, but I think they enjoyed it after a few bites. Let’s hope it becomes the next big trend.
I’m going to have to ask you to stop doing these insane things. They’re not good for my waistline.
But that’s no fun :D
Mmm, Carla, this looks so good. I love all of the flavors going on in this savory cheesecake. I love Irish cheddar. Yum!
What a fun recipe, I don’t think I’ve ever seen anything that can compare to it either.
It needs to be a new trend! Thanks Erin.
What a delicious-looking savory cheesecake! Irish cheese and bacon…. yummm
I love the idea of a savory cheesecake. And definitely, this is an appetizer, so dig in!
I would eat this before dinner, after dinner, or AS dinner! Looks so delicious! I’m pretty jealous of your Ireland trip, too.
It’s a full course meal in itself! Thanks for all of your work, Jen!
Love the pictures! Both of the cheesecake and from Ireland! This cheesecake looks fantastic! I’ve never had a savory cheesecake but if it taste like a cheeseball then I’m all for it!
I looooooove cheesecake and bacon. Put them together? You are a genius.
Me too! Thanks Stephanie!
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Holy crap, I just had an aneurysm from this amazingness. But first off, that pic of you and your friend at the St. Patty’s parade is adorbs. I’d love to visit Ireland one day — I haven’t gotten to do much traveling in my life yet but someday! And this is just genius. I’ve never even contemplated making a savoury cheesecake but why the heck not?! Especially with bacon. Since this is savoury and covers several food groups, it definitely counts as a proper meal.
I would go back to Ireland in a heartbeat, so let’s go together ;) And yay proper meal!
Carla, you’ve completely lost your mind…but in the most wonderful way. :) I’m assuming this is pretty rich but I could so see having a sliver with a terrific glass of wine before dinner. Yum!
Oh wine would be perfect! Great idea, Anita.
Carla, Carla, Carla. You are a GENIUS! F’real. Savory cheesecake? WHY HAS NO ONE DONE THIS?! And bacon? oh Heavens me, yes. I need a slice of this in my life!! (or 7)
p.s. if you come to visit in April, we need to bake. It’s settled!
Yes yes yes! There will be baking! I mean how could we not? And we should probably plan on some walking too…..
The texture almost makes it look like a quiche to me. Either way, I like the combination, pass me a slice!
Not quite a quiche (I’m not a fan of quiche, trust me haha). It’s more like a cheeseball with the creaminess than the egginess of quiche. Thanks Susan!
Ermahgerd. I love savoury cheesecakes, and I think they don’t get nearly enough love compared to their desserty counterparts. The blend of flavours in this one sounds particularly wonderful, too, especially the walnut crust and the Irish cheese and crumbled bacon in the filling.
PS – I’m so jealous you got to experience a real live St Patty’s Day in Ireland. That sounds like so much fun!
Lady I totally love all the photos. I’m Irish but have never been to Ireland. It’s on my bucket list. Love this recipe Carla, it’s simply beautiful. I really like the walnut crust. So creative.
Sounds like all of the bloggers need to plan a trip! I would go back right this second if I could. Thanks Kim!
This cake is genius! What a perfect Irish treat.
I was dubious, but this looks like it would be an awesome app in small mini cheesecake cups
Oh that would be a great idea! Top them with a cracker of some sort so you use it as a spoon. Thanks Sarah!
No, the idea isn’t crazy at all. It’s brilliant! Good to know about Irish cheese, too :) Well, I’m so into this now – awesome!
Glad it’s not too crazy ;) Thanks Linda!
My office loved the cheese cake for Pi day…
I will be making it again.
So thrilled to hear that! Thanks Richard :)
Carla…ohhh, Carla! My heart is fluttering ♥
Grab some crackers or pumpernickel cocktail bread. This is DEFINITELY an appetizer!
This recipe sounds lovely. I tried a bacon cheesecake for Thanksgiving last year and it was a total bust. Of course that only made me want to try again to find a successful recipe.
When you say “Irish cheese” which type of Kerrygold cheese are you using?
I used Dubliner cheese.
I HAVE A QUESTION FOR YOU,,,FIRST THE CHEESECAKE LOOKS DELICIOUS,,, WHAT IS IRISH CHEESE ?? I LIVE IN AN AREA THAT WE DON’T GET THE FANCY CHEESE,,,,WHAT WOULD I USE THAT WOULD BE CLOSE TO IRISH CHEESE,,,,AND NEXT,,,HOW DO YOU THINK A GOOD MONTEREY CHEESE WOULD WORK IN THIS RECIPE ?? I AM LOOKING FORWARD TO BAKING THIS,,,,,,
Hi Charles! Irish cheese is cheese produced in Ireland, much like Gruyere is from Switzerland and Parmesan is from Italy. You can usually find it in the specialty cheese section of your grocery store, not the regular cheese section by the milk (I lived in a small town for a few years and found it there, so it depends on how small your area is). I used Kerrygold Dubliner to give you an idea on flavor http://kerrygoldusa.com/products/dubliner-cheese/
As far as substituting, I think most cheeses that shred and melt well will work. Cheddar comes to mine, but Monterrey cheese should work too!
OMG I never thought of putting bacon in cheesecake! Do you think it’d work with a green drizzle of some kind for St Paddie’s?
Oh that could be fun! Maybe a pesto drizzle?