It’s the best time of the year: cherry season!
Everyone who knows me knows I am CRAZY about cherries. I bake them up in all sorts of different desserts, and I love eating them just as they are too, right out of the bag! They’re such a treat and I have so many happy summer memories attached to cherries!
For today’s recipe, I’m sharing this luscious cherry swirl cheesecake, with a traditional graham cracker crust, plated on a pool of cherry sauce. It’s such a delicious way to enjoy summer cherries!
The cheesecake is so soft and creamy- in the classic New York style.
And the cherry swirl and sauce are a perfect, fruity counterpoint to all the creamy goodness. Just pit them and cook them down with a little sugar, cornstarch, and water. They’ll get soft and release a lot of dark juice. Puree them smooth, and season with lemon juice and almond extract to bring out all their lush flavor.
You can use half the cherry sauce to swirl in the cheesecake, and the other half can be pooled onto the plate before serving. This way, you get plenty of sweet cherry flavor in every bite!
- Cherry Sauce
- 2 1/2 cups fresh cherries, stemmed and pitted
- 1/2 cup water
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 2 teaspoons lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon almond extract
- Graham Cracker Crust:
- 1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
- 1/4 cup (loosely packed) light brown sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
- Cheesecake Filling:
- 24 ounces (3 8-ounce bricks) cream cheese, softened
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 3 tablespoons cornstarch
- 4 large eggs
- 1 large egg yolk
- 1/4 cup heavy cream
- 1 teaspoon almond extract
This luscious cherry swirl cheesecake, with a traditional graham cracker crust, plated on a pool of cherry sauce is a delicious way to enjoy summer cherries!
To make the cherry sauce:
- Place the cherries in a small pot, along with the water, sugar, and cornstarch.
- Cook over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until the mixture is thick and jammy.
- Remove from the heat, stir in the lemon juice and almond extract, and puree in a blender.
To make the crust:
- Place the graham cracker crumbs, brown sugar, cinnamon, and salt in a large bowl and stir to combine.
- Add the melted butter and mix until well blended.
- Transfer the mixture to an 8-inch diameter cake pan, greased and lined with parchment.
- Press the crust into the bottom of the pan.
To make the cheesecake:
- Preheat the oven to 400° F.
- Place the cream cheese, sugar, and cornstarch in a large mixing bowl and mix on medium-low speed until smooth.
- Add the eggs, one at a time, scraping the bottom and sides of the bowl with a silicone spatula after each addition.
- Add the cream and almond extract, and stir to combine.
- Pour the batter over the crust, and rap sharply on the counter a few times to release any air bubbles.
- Drizzle about half the cherry sauce over the unbaked cheesecake, and swirl with the tip of a sharp knife.
- Place the cake pan in a larger baking dish and pour very hot water ¾ of the way up the sides of the pan.
- Bake the cheesecake for 15 minutes, then lower the oven temperature to 300° F and bake for an additional 65-75 minutes, or until the cheesecake is set around the edges but still slightly jiggly toward the center.
- Turn off the oven, leave the door slightly ajar, and allow the cheesecake to cool for one hour.
- Remove the cheesecake from the oven and cool completely at room temperature.
- Flip the cheesecake out of the pan and invert onto a serving plate. Chill in the refrigerator until ready to serve, then garnish with remaining sauce.
- Calories: 566
- Fat Content: 37.7g
- Cholesterol Content: 196mg
- Sodium Content: 448mg
- Carbohydrate Content: 49.7g
- Fiber Content: 1.6g
- Sugar Content: 36.1g
- Protein Content: 9.8g