It’s difficult for me to write this post. I keep trying to come up with something to say about these cheesecake cupcakes – which are coated in baked manchego, topped with quince paste, and resting on a homemade Ritz cracker crust – but I am distracted by the photo above. The quince paste dripping down the side calls to me. I imagine picking up the paste with my pinky finger and slowly savoring it. I would inevitably end up squishing the entire soft cheesecake in my mouth. I’d sweep any escaping buttery crust crumbs off the table and into my open palm, and then shove them in my mouth cavewoman-style. Sadly, we have no cheesecake left, so this is just a cheesy dream.
These quince, manchego, and Ritz cheesecakes were inspired by the snack with the same ingredients (see my post on the trio for more information). While I encourage you to try the cheesecakes as I made them (you won’t regret it), they are also ripe for substitutions:
- Try any hard cheese instead of manchego or simply leave the manchego off. I like the extra tang from the manchego, but this recipe would still be stellar without it.
- Use your favorite jam (like strawberry, cherry, or apricot) in place of the quince paste to create your own favorite mini cheesecake.
- Pre-bake the Ritz cracker crust as directed in the post, and then top with your favorite cheesecake recipe. The buttery/sweet flavor of the Ritz is a welcome variation on any cheesecake with a traditional graham cracker crust.
Quince, Manchego, and Ritz Cheesecake Cupcake Recipe