Sunday, May 23, 2010

The ultimate cherry cheese cake

A little more than ten years ago I went to live in West Virginia as a high school exchange student for one year. West Virginia is not one of the best known states, neither in the US nor around the world. But, I assure you, it is worth a visit, and I especially recommend its wildlife during the Indian summer. In West Virginia two very special people not only allowed me into their home but also into their hearts. I guess we were a match made in "almost heaven". Ever since, my host family and I have tried to visit each other at least every two years. During these visits, we not only exchange memories and laughters, but also food: Graham crakers to be precise, and cherry pie filling. I need these care packages in order to prepare the best cherry cheese cake ever. But since I ran out of these ingredients, I had to alter the recipe a little bit this time: instead of Graham crakers, I had to use German butter cookies and I made my own cherry pie filling. 
Here is the recipe of the world's best cherry cheese cake, courtesy of the world's best host family!

 copyrigth of all photos j.

Cherry Cheese Cake

16 Graham crackers (I used a package of butter cookies)
1/2 cup of sugar (I used 60 gr of white sugar and 60 gr of brown sugar)
1/3 cup of melted butter (approximately 75 gr, but use as much as the cookie crumbs need)

8 ounces of cream cheese (that is ca. 250 gr)
3 eggs
1/2 cup of sugar (I used 110 gr of white sugar)

2 cans of cherry pie filling (I used 375 gr of morello cherries, the juice they come with and some starch)
whipped cream (optional)

Note: I gave you both the original version of the recipe and my adaption to the German market. Hope that won't confuse you...
Preheat the oven at 160 °C. Put the crackers/cookies into a plastic bag and smash them until you get what I call cookie-flour. Mix the cookie-flour, with the sugar and the melted butter. Press into a pan (13X9 inches, or 9X9). Mix the cream cheese, the sugar and the eggs in a blender and pour the mixture over the crust. Bake in the oven for about 25-30 minutes until the cheese-topping is baked all the way through. Set aside and let it cool off. Now, if you happen to live in the States, take two cans of cherry pie filling and top the cake with it. If not, do the following: take the glass of morello cherries. Save the juice and heat it in a pot. Take some tablespoons of the juice and mix it with starch and throw that mixture back into the pot. I'm sorry, but I can't tell you how much starch you need, I forgot to count the spoons, but I guess I used between 4 and 5 teaspoons. Just add more if you feel that the juice is still too liquid. Only bring the mixture to a boil for a short while, add the cherries and let the mixture cool off, before you spread it over the cheesecake. If you like, you can even decorate the cake with whipped cream. If you don't like whipped cream (I don't) let your guests have your share!

One more comment before you give in to temptation: I do not get paid by the cookie company for showing a close up of their cookies. I  just think the cookies look fabulous in their simplicity.

And, once again, happy birthday Susanne (whose birthday cake this was!)!

1 comment:

  1. This sounds yummy! And since I love cheese cake in all variantions I have to try this for sure :)