Prep: 15 minutes
Chill: 1 hour, or overnight
Vegetable oil spray for misting a loaf pan
4 ounces goat cheese, at room temperature
4 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
1/2 cup basil pesto
1/2 cup fig preserves
Sweet and Spicy Pecans (recipe follows)
Unsalted wheat crackers
1. Lightly mist a 5 1/2- by 3-inch mini loaf pan with vegetable oil spray. Line the pan with waxed or parchment paper. Set it aside.
2. Place the goat cheese and cream cheese in a medium bowl and blend on low until creamy, 30 seconds. Using a rubber spatula, lightly press the cheese mixture into the prepared pan. Spoon the pesto over the cheese, spreading it out evenly. Cover the pan with plastic wrap, and refrigerate the cheesecake until serving time, at least 1 hour.
3. Just before serving, remove the cheesecake from the fridge. Remove the plastic wrap and invert it onto a serving plate. Spoon the preserves over the top. Top the cheesecake with the Sweet and Spicy Pecans, and serve with crackers.
Sweet and Spicy Pecans: Place a large cast-iron skillet over medium heat. Add 1 tablespoon salted butter, 2 tablespoons light brown sugar, and 1 teaspoon liquid hot sauce. Cook and stir until the butter melts. Remove the skillet from the heat and add 1 cup pecan halves. Stir to coat the pecans with the butter mixture. Place the skillet over low heat and cook and stir until the pecans are toasted, 1 minute. Don’t let the sugar burn. Remove from the heat, and let cool completely. Coarsely chop the pecans, if desired.