When I first came up with this idea for Better Homes & Gardens, I was thinking about creamy asparagus soup. It was close to Easter, which I call "Spring Thanksgiving," because for me it's another time to gather a whole mess of loved ones around my table and be thankful for our blessings in the new year. Truth be told, though, nothing brings me more joy than to get people around my table and cook a huge meal. I needed a new appetizer to mix things up, and I thought...what if I turned Cream of Asparagus Soup into a creamy, luscious cheesecake? And make it even better by turning buttery Town House Crackers into a cheesecake crust? BAM! To be frank, this shizzzzz is THE BOMB! And my family and friends devoured this Creamy Asparagus Cheesecake in minutes. It has been a staple ever since.
Hands-On Prep: 30 mins Total Cooking Time: 3 hrs + 5 hours cooling and chilling
- 2 sleeves Town House Original crackers (7 oz.)
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- 1 bunch asparagus (8 oz.), washed, trimmed, and cut into 1/2-inch pieces (2 cups)
- 1½ cups whipping cream
- 1/3 cup small finely chopped onion
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
- 16 ounces cream cheese, softened
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 4 eggs
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest
- ½ teaspoon ground white pepper
- 6-8 spears asparagus, washed, trimmed and halved lengthwise
- 2 tablespoons lemon-infused oil (optional)
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line the bottom of a 9-inch springform pan with parchment paper. Coat the inside of the pan with nonstick cooking spray; set aside.
In a food processor add the crackers; pulse for 30 seconds. Scrape the sides down; process another 15 seconds or until the crumbs are really fine. With the processor running, drizzle in 6 tablespoons of melted butter until the crumbs come together. Scrape the sides down; process 5 seconds more. Press evenly into the bottom of the prepared pan. Place on the middle rack of the oven. Bake 15 minutes or until the crust is set and golden brown. Cool on a wire rack.
Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan, combine the asparagus pieces, whipping cream, onion, 2 tablespoons of butter, and ½ teaspoon of salt. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer, covered, 20 minutes. Let cool 20-30 minutes. Add to the food processor; process until smooth.
In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese and cornstarch on medium speed for 1 minute. Scrape the sides down; beat for 30 seconds or until smooth. Add in the eggs, one at a time, and beat well after each addition. Scrape the sides down again; beat on medium-high 1½-2 minutes, until light and airy. Add the asparagus mixture, lemon zest, white pepper, and ½ teaspoon of salt; beat on low until combined.
Pour the filling into the baked crust. Arrange asparagus spears on top. Place the filled pan in a shallow baking pan. Bake 50-55 minutes or until just set. (Center will be slightly jiggly.) Cool for 15 minutes on wire rack. Using a knife, loosen the sides from the pan; cool another 30 minutes. Gently remove the sides of pan; let cool completely. Cover; chill at least 4 hours. Drizzle with lemon oil just before serving.