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PORK RIND–CRUSTED CHEESECAKEI created this recipe in honor of my favorite chef, Michael Symon. One of the biggest thrills of my life was when I got to serve it with him at the South Beach Wine and Food Festival in February 2016! He even featured a clip of us eating this dessert together on ABC’s The Chew. For an even more over-the-top experience, drizzle with Moonshine Caramel Sauce (see Variations, this page) and sprinkle with Bacon Toffee (this page) before serving.


  • 1 6-ounce bag original-style pork rinds
  • ½ cup unbleached all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 2 large eggs, beaten
  • 2 tablespoons bacon grease
  • 2 tablespoons (¼ stick) unsalted butter, melted
  • 4 8-ounce packages cream cheese, at room
  • temperature
  • 1 cup (packed) light brown sugar
  • 5 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons vanilla extract
How to Make It
  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Cover a 12 × 18 × 1-inch half-sheet pan with heavy-duty foil. Spray with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. Make the crust: In a large bowl, crush the pork rinds using your hands. Add the flour, sugar, beaten eggs, bacon grease, and melted butter. Toss all of the ingredients together just until combined. Press the mixture into the prepared pan, pressing it down to make as even a layer as possible.
  3. Bake for 15 minutes. Let cool completely. Prepare the filling: In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese on high speed until smooth and creamy, 2 minutes. Add the sugar and beat on high speed for 1 minute. Reduce the speed to low and add the eggs, lemon juice, and vanilla. Beat just to combine, then beat on high for 1 minute. Scrape down the sides and around the bottom of the bowl. Beat on high speed for 1 more minute. Spread the mixture evenly over the cooled crust.
  4. Bake until the cheesecake is firm and nicely browned, 35 to 40 minutes. Refrigerate overnight for best results.

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