This dessert is a labor of love. It involves almost 3 hours of time and intricate steps to follow. BUT….every last bite will be well worth it. This cheesecake will remind you of the most fine dining restaurant with the best pastry chef on staff. You’ll be able to brag it up when you serve this amazing delight.
Let’s get started. Collect your ingredients….
5 packages (8 ounces each) of cream cheese – whole yumminess, no low fat stuff here – soften in a bowl to room temperature
2 Cups sugar
3 Tbsp flour
5 whole eggs
2 egg yolks
1 Tbsp grated lemon rind (do not substitute lemon juice)
1/4 Cup heavy cream
1 cup graham cracker crumbs
6 Tbsp butter, melted
1 Can of Cherry Pie filling – you could also use strawberry, blueberry, or raspberry if you prefer. The process is the same.
Preheat the oven to 475. The oven will need to be fully preheated for ten minutes before the cheesecake goes in.
We’ll start by preparing the graham cracker crust. Mix together the graham cracker crumbs, all of the melted butter, and 1/4 Cup of the sugar. The mixture will be moist. Press this into the bottom of your springform pan. It will look like this….
Let’s start to put the cheesecake batter together. Beat the cream cheese with an electric mixer at medium speed just until smooth. Add the remaining 1 – 3/4 Cups of sugar gradually, beating just until light and fluffy. Sprinkle the flour over the mixture and blend thoroughly. Add the eggs and the egg yolks, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in the lemon rind and heavy cream on low speed. Pour 1/2 of the mixture into the springform pan. Drop small dollops of just the cherry gel from the cherry pie filling. Use the tip of a knife to swirl the gel into the cheesecake mixture. Add the remaining 1/2 of the cheesecake mixture on top and repeat with the dollops and swirling. It should look like this….
Place the cheesecake onto a shallow baking dish. Add about 1-2 inches of water to the baking dish that you put the springform pan into. This will prevent the cheesecake from cracking on top while baking. Put the cheesecake in the oven.
Bake at 475 for 12 minutes.
Lower the temperature to 250 and bake for 1 – 1/2 hours.
Turn off the oven heat and let the cake stay in the oven with the door ajar for an additional 30 minutes.
Remove the cheesecake, allow to cool a little more on the counter and then place it in the fridge to completely chill. It’s looking like this now…
When the cheesecake is completely chilled, remove the springform, place it on a serving platter and top with the cherry topping. Or, if you prefer, you can serve the cherry topping separately or apply it to individual pieces when serving. Are you ready ……it should look like this….