Monday, May 10, 2010

Sweet Cherry Cheesecake

The St. Helena Farmer’s Market was bursting with ripe cherries this week. The first sign that summer produce is right around the corner. There are so many great ways to enjoy cherries. One of our favorite is as a tart topping for a sweet, creamy cheesecake. We used red wine in the topping which complements the sweetness of the cherries and the cheesecake.

For the Crust:

1 ½ cups graham cracker crumbs

1/4 cup sugar

4 eggs

1/3 cup melted butter

1 8 oz. pkg. softened cream cheese

1 14 oz. can sweetened condensed milk

1/3 cups flour

1 tbsp. vanilla

For the Topping:

½ cup red wine

½ cup sugar

4 tsp. water

1 tbsp. lemon juice

3 tsp. cornstarch

20 oz. pitted sweet cherries

In a bowl, combine sugar, butter and graham cracker crumbs. Press mixture firmly into a 9-inch pan. Beat the cream cheese until lightly whipped. Slowly beat in the sweetened condensed milk until smooth. Add the flour, eggs and vanilla and mix well. Pour into pan and bake for about 1 hour until top is lightly browned. Chill in refrigerator.

To make the sauce, bring wine, sugar, and cherries to a boil. Cook until mixture is thick, or about 5 minutes. In a separate bowl, combine cornstarch, lemon juice and water and whisk together. Pour cornstarch mixture into pan with cherries and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for a few minutes until mixture is thick. Remove from heat cool before adding to cheesecake.

Pour sauce on top and around the side of the cheesecake. Garnish with confectioners sugar or whipped cream. Serves 6-8.

Recipe by Karen

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