triple cherry cheesecake
So Ella is up to her old tricks, baking again. Yesterday after school she made this Triple Cherry Cheesecake, but it had to sit in the fridge overnight so we ate it just right now. Well, we did not eat the whole thing – just one slice. I think we are having cheese and crackers for dinner tonight.
This recipe was born from the fact that I bought this MASSIVE 2KG bag of frozen dark cherries from Costco. Sometimes I just check all reason at the door when I walk through those Costco warehouse doors. Why do I need a big bag of frozen cherries? What am I going to do with them? Geez.
Thankfully, Ella found this recipe and we made a big vat of cherry topping, which is about a million times better than canned cherry pie filling. I think it is bad to eat things that retain the shape of the can they came out of. That includes cranberry sauce and Spam. I guess corn could fall into that category too.
Ella did a ton of adapting, but the original recipe came from an old Bon Appetit magazine. I always think it is ridiculous to put in three bricks of cream cheese into something, so she substituted 2/3 whipping cream for 1/3 cream cheese. I’m not sure what is better, calorie-wise because I don’t keep track of things like that, but I can tell you that it turned out to be a luscious mousse-cheesecake that was somehow both light and filling.
Also, because she used Omega eggs with bright yellow yolks, the cake turned out to be a cheery yellow. Which looked cool with the red cherry topping. The topping is sooooo good that you might want to eat it out of the container with a spoon, but try to contain yourself people!
Triple Cherry Cheesecake
-adapted from a Bon Appetit recipe
3/4 cup dried tart cherries (Ella substituted 3/4 cup dried craisins, because that’s all we had. So it wasn’t really a triple cherry cheesecake, more like a double cherry cheesecake, but oh well)
1 1-pound bag frozen pitted dark cherries, thawed
1/2 cup fruit juice (any kind)
1/2 cup cherry jam
2 tablespoons brandy
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1/3 cup whole almonds (Ella substituted 1/3 cup of Vanilla wafers, crushed)
2/3 cup graham cracker crumbs
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
3 8-ounce packages cream cheese, room temperature (Ella whipped up 2 cups of whipping cream and mixed it with one block of cream cheese, instead of three blocks of cream cheese)
1 1/3 cups sugar
4 large eggs
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup sliced almonds, toasted
Combine dried cherries/fruit and juice in medium saucepan. Bring to boil. Remove from heat. Cover; let steep 20 minutes. Mix cherry jam, brandy and cornstarch in small bowl to blend. Stir into dried fruit mixture. Add thawed cherries. Stir over medium heat until mixture boils and thickens, about 1 minute. Cool slightly; chill until cold.
Finely grind almonds/crumbs in blender. Add cracker crumbs, sugar and butter. Process until clumps form. Press mixture onto bottom (not sides) of 9-inch-diameter springform pan with 2 3/4-inch-high sides. Chill 30 minutes.
Preheat to 350°F.
Blend all ingredients except sliced almonds in mixer just until smooth (if using whipping cream, whip first and then fold into rest), scraping down sides of bowl several times. Transfer filling to crust.
Bake until edges of cheesecake are puffed and center is just set, about 50 minutes. Remove from oven. Run knife around pan sides to loosen cake. Chill cake uncovered overnight.
Release pan sides from cake. Transfer cake to platter. Spoon topping evenly over cake, leaving 1/2-inch border around edge. Garnish cake with sliced almonds.