Cherry Topped Cream Cheese Cake
By Carolina Grace Figueroa
Volume 2 Issue 7
June 13, 2022
Image provided by Food 52
Cheesecakes are dessert cakes made of cheese (usually cream cheese or ricotta cheese), eggs, and sugar. They often have a graham cracker crumb crust that is sometimes held together by melted butter. They are rich, decadent treats with a dense, smooth, and creamy consistency. The filling has a hefty, velvety texture. Some people add sour cream to make it easier to shape or fruit flavoring like strawberry, blueberry, or lemon. They reign as a perfect tasty summer dessert, chilled and sweet delicacies that make perfect antidotes to the heat outside. Cheesecake originated in Greece and was served to the Olympians during the first Olympics held in 776 BC to give them energy. Some people claim they are not really “cakes”, but more of a custard pie, torte, or tart because of the consistency of the base. The base can be made of crushed digestive biscuits and butter, graham cracker crumbs, crushed cookies, pastry, or even sponge cake. Italy makes their cheesecake with ricotta cheese, Germany and Poland use a soft cheese called “quark” or cottage cheese, while the US may use cream cheese or sour cream as the main ingredient. Toppings can range from whipped cream, nuts, chopped fresh fruits, syrups, sour cream, fruit compotes, caramel sauce, chocolate (syrups, shavings, melted), candy bars, cookies, spices, or matcha (a Japanese powdered green tea). In Brazil, cheesecake is served with a thin guava jelly or marmalade layer. “National Cheesecake Day” in the US is celebrated on July 30th of every year, an honorary day when you can indulge yourself with this delightful dessert and sample some of the tastiest flavors ever made (for example, key lime cheesecake or kit-kat cheesecake).
My grandmother makes the perfect and delicious cherry topped cream cheesecake that I have ever tasted. It is topped with chilled cherry pie filling and can’t be beaten! I would like to share her infamous homemade recipe and challenge you to make it:
2 ½ cups packaged graham cracker crumbs
¼ cup sugar
½ cup butter or regular margarine, softened
5 pkg (8 oz. size) soft cream cheese
1 ¾ cups sugar
3 tablespoons flour
1 tablespoon grated lemon peel or 1 ½ teaspoon lemon juice
¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
2 egg yolks
¼ cup heavy cream
2 cans of 21 oz. Comstock Cherry Pie Filling
One 12-inch Springform pan
Make crust: In a medium bowl, with hands or the back of a spoon, mix graham cracker crumbs with sugar and soft butter until they are well combined.
Press mixture on bottom and sides of 12-inch Springform pan, building up sides of pan to form a rim all around. Refrigerate until needed.
Preheat the oven to 500F.
Make filling: In a large bowl of electric mixer, combine cream cheese, sugar, flour, lemon peel (or lemon juice), and vanilla. Beat at high speed just to blend.
Beat in eggs and egg yolks, one at a time. Add heavy cream, beating just until well combined. Pour in the crust-lined pan.
Bake for 10 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 250F and bake one hour longer.
Take out of the oven and let cool in the pan on a wire rack. Refrigerate for three hours, or overnight.
Before serving, add topping; spread Comstock canned cherry pie filling to the top of the chilled cheesecake (add as much to your liking).
To serve: With a spatula, loosen the crust from the sides of the pan. Remove the side of the Springform pan. Cut cheesecake into wedge slices (makes 16 to 20 servings). Enjoy!