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Hook’s Wisconsin Blue Cheese Cheesecake With Port Wine Poached Pears, Port Caramel And Candied Walnuts



  • Current rating: 5.0/5
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1 rating


750 ml Port wine
3 cups granulated sugar, divided
1 sprig fresh rosemary
1 orange, just the rind
1 vanilla bean, split and scraped
6 medium pears (Bartlett, Forelle or Comice)
1 tbsp. egg white
1/4 cup powdered sugar
1 pinch kosher salt
1 cup walnuts
1 lb. cream cheese, room temperature
10 oz. Wisconsin Hook’s Blue cheese, room temperature and finely crumbled
3 eggs, room temperature
1/4 cup sour cream
2 tbsp. clover or orange honey
1 pinch freshly cracked pepper
3 1/2 oz. light corn syrup
1 cup heavy cream
1 cup poaching liquid, reserved


  1. 1
    Poached Pears: In heavy sauce pot, combine all ingredients such as port wine, 1 cup granulated sugar, rosemary sprig, orange rind and vanilla bean; bring to a boil. Cook until reduced by a quarter. Meanwhile, peel pears and add peels to poaching liquid. Cut pears in half and core. Strain poaching liquid and add pears. Bring to a simmer and poach pears until tender. Place pears and liquid in opaque container. Cover with plastic and let stand at room temperature overnight. Reserve 1 cup poaching liquid for port wine caramel.
  2. 2
    Sugared Walnuts: Heat oven to 350°F. Line baking sheet with parchment paper. In small bowl, mix all ingredients such as 1 tbsp. egg white, 1/4 cup powdered sugar and pinch kosher salt. Add walnuts and stir to coat. Spread in single layer on baking sheet. Bake 12 to 15 minutes or until golden brown. Break into pieces. Set aside.
  3. 3
    Cheesecake: Heat oven to 250°F. Spray 8" spring form pan with cooking spray. Line bottom with parchment paper; spray again. In large bowl, beat cream cheese until smooth. Add blue cheese; beat until creamy. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Scrape bowl. Add sour cream, honey, pinch kosher salt and pinch pepper. Beat until combined.
  4. 4
    Pour into pan. Bake 40 to 45 minutes or until set and knife inserted near center comes out clean. Cool to room temperature in pan.
  5. 5
    Port Wine Caramel: In heavy sauce pot, combine 1 cup sugar and the corn syrup. Bring to a boil, stirring until sugar is dissolved. Cook at slow rolling boil until dark amber. In another pot, bring cream and reserved poaching liquid just to a boil; keep warm. When sugar is amber, add remaining sugar, 1/4 cup at a time, mixing well after each addition. Stir in cream mixture slowly, allowing mixture to reduce after each addition. Cook until the consistency of thick syrup, stirring frequently, about 10 minutes. Season with pinch salt and pinch pepper.
  6. 6
    Final Preparation: Cut cheesecake into wedges. Serve on plate with poached pear, port wine caramel and sugared walnuts.

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preparation methods
cuisines North & South American
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