Luscious, juicy, sweet and versatile, cherries are at peek at the height of summer! This Cheesecake with Cherry on Top is a fun and elegant play on cheesecake;
instead of baked in the oven, the cream cheese is set in the fridge and then topped with a gorgeous mound of fresh cherries and a sweet cherry wine reduction. The result surpasses the expectations.
Cherries have a perfect balance between sweet and acid, making them very easy to pair with wine. A good red wine, such as Pinot Noir is a great combination, but feel free to use another type of red wine of your preference.
Be careful to place the cherry topping on top of the tart only at last minute, just before serving, as they will “bleed” and stain the white cheese filling.
Cheesecake With Cherry on Top
Yield: 8 servings
Graham Cracker Crust
1 ¾ cups graham cracker crumbs
2 ½ tablespoons sugar
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 teaspoon unflavored powdered gelatin
1 ½ cups heavy cream (divided)
½ cup (4oz) cream cheese, softened
½ cup sour cream
3 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups red wine (Pinot Noir is a good option)
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 cups red cherries
Equipment: 10-inch tart pan
- Make the Crust: Pre-heat the oven to 350˚F. in the bowl of a food processor or mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the graham cracker crumbs and sugar. Mix until well combined, then slowly drizzle in the butter until the rust comes together. Press it into the bottom and up the sides of the tart pan. Bake for. 10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
- Prepare the Filling: in a medium bowl, sprinkle the gelatin over ¼ cup of the heavy cream. Allow the gelatin to soften for 5 minutes. Meanwhile, in a small saucepan over medium heat, bring ½ cup of the heavy cream and the cream cheese to a simmer. Whisk until the mixture is smooth and the cream cheese melts. Add the mixture to the bowl with gelatin and whisk until the gelatin dissolves. Let it cool to room temperature.
- Whip the Cream: in the bowl of an electric mixer, whip the remaining ¾ cup of heavy cream, the sour cream, sugar and vanilla extract until the mixture holds medium peaks. Fold a third of it into the cream cheese mixture, then fold in the remaining whipped cream mixture in two additions. Pour the filling into the cooled tart shell and refrigerate until set, about 4 hours or preferably overnight.
- Prepare the Topping: in a small saucepan, bring the red wine, sugar, and star anise to a simmer. Reduce the heat to very low and simmer until the sauce is syrupy and sticky, about 30 minutes (don’t allow the mixture to caramelize; it should stay dark red). Strain the mixture, discarding the solids and stir in the vanilla extract. Refrigerate until cooled, at least 1 hour or preferably overnight.
- Just before serving, toss the cherries with ¼ cup of the red wine glaze. Spoon over the tart, mounding them in the center. Serve the tart with some of the remaining red wine glaze on the side, to drizzle more on the plates if desired.
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