Cherry Cheesecake

Classic Cherry Cheesecake Recipe

Cherry cheesecake is a timeless dessert that combines a rich, creamy cheesecake with a sweet and tangy cherry topping. This recipe provides a step-by-step guide to making a delicious cherry cheesecake from scratch.

Ingredients

For the Crust:

  • 1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted

For the Cheesecake Filling:

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  • 4 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 cup sour cream

For the Cherry Topping:

  • 1 (21-ounce) can cherry pie filling (or make your own, see optional homemade topping below)

Instructions

1. Preheat the Oven:

  • Preheat your oven to 325°F (163°C).
  • Grease a 9-inch springform pan.

2. Make the Crust:

  • In a medium bowl, combine the graham cracker crumbs and sugar.
  • Add the melted butter and mix until the crumbs are evenly coated and resemble wet sand.
  • Press the mixture firmly into the bottom of the prepared springform pan.
  • Bake the crust in the preheated oven for 10 minutes. Remove and let cool while you prepare the filling.

3. Prepare the Cheesecake Filling:

  • In a large mixing bowl, beat the softened cream cheese with an electric mixer until smooth and creamy.
  • Add the sugar and vanilla extract, and continue to beat until well combined.
  • Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.
  • Mix in the sour cream until just combined.

4. Bake the Cheesecake:

  • Pour the cheesecake filling over the cooled crust and smooth the top with a spatula.
  • Bake in the preheated oven for 55-65 minutes, or until the center is set but still slightly jiggly.
  • Turn off the oven, crack the oven door, and let the cheesecake cool in the oven for 1 hour to prevent cracking.
  • After 1 hour, remove the cheesecake from the oven and let it cool completely at room temperature.
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5. Chill the Cheesecake:

  • Once the cheesecake is completely cool, cover it with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 4 hours, or preferably overnight, to allow it to set fully.

6. Add the Cherry Topping:

  • Before serving, spoon the cherry pie filling evenly over the top of the cheesecake.

Optional Homemade Cherry Topping

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups fresh or frozen pitted cherries
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Instructions:

  1. In a medium saucepan, combine the cherries, sugar, cornstarch, water, and lemon juice.
  2. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture thickens and the cherries release their juices, about 10 minutes.
  3. Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla extract.
  4. Allow the topping to cool completely before spooning it over the cheesecake.

Tips for the Perfect Cherry Cheesecake

  1. Room Temperature Ingredients: Ensure all ingredients are at room temperature before mixing to achieve a smooth, creamy filling.
  2. Avoid Overmixing: Overmixing the batter can incorporate too much air, leading to cracks in the cheesecake. Mix until just combined.
  3. Water Bath: For an extra smooth cheesecake, bake it in a water bath. Wrap the bottom of the springform pan with aluminum foil and place it in a larger baking dish. Fill the dish with hot water until it reaches halfway up the sides of the springform pan.
  4. Cooling: Letting the cheesecake cool gradually in the oven and then at room temperature helps prevent cracks.
  5. Storage: Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
READ ALSO  Banana Bread

Enjoy this classic cherry cheesecake with its creamy filling, buttery crust, and sweet cherry topping as a delightful end to any meal!

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