Festive swirls of cherry puree give thischeesecake both luscious taste and presentation.
Recipe: Ribbon of CherryCheesecake
1 cup slivered almonds, chopped 1 cup graham cracker crumbs 1/3 cup butter or margarine, melted 1 (21-ounce) can cherry pie filling 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar – divideduse 2 tablespoons cornstarch 1/2 teaspoon almond extract 4 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, softened 3 tablespoons amaretto liqueur 1 tablespoon lemon juice 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 3 large eggs, slightly beaten
Preheat oven to 350°F (175°C).
Combine almonds, graham cracker crumbsand butter in a medium bowl; mix well. Press crumb mixture evenlyover the bottom and 2-inches up the sides of a 10-inch springformpan. Set aside.
Puree cherry pie filling in an electricblender or food processor until smooth. Pour pureed cherry piefilling into a medium saucepan. Combine 2 tablespoons granulatedsugar and cornstarch; stir into cherry pie filling. Cook, stirringconstantly, over low heat until mixture is thick and bubbly.Remove from heat. Stir in almond extract. Set aside to cool.
Put cream cheese, remaining 3/4 cup sugar,amaretto, lemon juice and vanilla in a large mixing bowl. Beatwith an electric mixer on medium speed 3 to 4 minutes, or untilwell mixed. Add eggs all at once; beat on low just until mixed.
To assemble the cheesecake, pour one-thirdof the cream cheese mixture into prepared crust. Top with about1/3 cup cherry puree. Swirl cherry mixture into cream cheesemixture, using a knife or spatula. Repeat layers twice, endingwith cherry puree. Reserve remaining puree. Bake for 60 to 65minutes, or until the center appears nearly set when gently shaken.Let cool on a wire rack. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
To serve, spoon a generous tablespoonof puree on individual serving plates. Cut cheesecake into wedgesand place on top of puree. Refrigerate leftovers.
Makes 16 servings.
Recipe and photograph are provided courtesyof the Cherry Marketing Institute.
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