Make Ahead

New-Fangled Cherry Cheesecake

August  1, 2020
Photo by Theresa Lemieux
Author Notes

This is not a swirl of cherry sauce in your cheesecake or on top. It's smooth, fulsome, hearty cherry flavour throughout. With thanks for inspiration to Brave Tart and Rose Levy Beranbaum, this is the newest, best cherry cheesecake you'll ever have. I use a sous vide machine with half-pint jars, but you can make this is in a springform pan and water bath. —Theresa Lemieux

  • Prep time 30 minutes
  • Cook time 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Serves 16
Ingredients
  • 3 packets cream cheese
  • 1 ¼ cups granulated sugar
  • 12 teaspoons freeze-dried cherries (60 g)
  • 2 cups sour cream
  • 6 egg yolks
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla
  • 1/8 teaspoon cherry flavouring (optional)
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
In This Recipe
Directions
  1. Attach your sous vide device to a heatproof container, then fill ¾ full of water. Preheat to the water to 80 °C or 176 °F
  2. Make the flavoured cream first: into the bowl of a food processor (small bowl or mini-chopper if you have it), pulverize the cherries with ½ cup of sugar until it mostly resembles a fine dust. A few little pieces are okay but bigger chunks mean you need to pulse a few more times. Stir into the sour cream and let sit.
  3. Place the cream cheese in the bowl of a stand mixer and blend with remaining 3/4 cup of sugar using the whisk attachment. Beat for 3 minutes on medium high speed until light and smooth, scraping down the side as needed.
  4. Add the egg yolks one at a time on medium low speed, scraping down the sides after each addition.
  5. Add the egg yolks one at a time on medium low speed, scraping down the sides after each addition.
  6. Cast the batter into your jars using a ladle or serving spoon. Fill to just below the rim, leaving about a half inch of space between the cheesecake and the lid. Screw on fingertip tight (see here) and place gently in your preheated water bath. Use tongs if you like to avoid getting splashed by hot water.
  7. Cook for 90 minutes.
  8. When they are done, use those tongs again to remove the jars to a tray or a flat tea towel on a hard surface. Let them sit until they have cooled to room temperature. Refrigerate overnight.
  9. Top with freshly made cherry sauce, crumble amaretti, and top with whipped cream. Or dark chocolate sauce on freshly pitted cherries. Or mixed berries, or lemon curd, or….you get the idea.
  10. NOTES: If the cherries aren’t powdered with some sugar they can turn sticky and hard. If the bowl of the food processor is too big, the cherries won’t pulverize into a small enough pieces. Cherry flavouring is really strong – err on the side of caution. You can always add more, but you can’t take it away. Add with care. This recipe works really well with freeze-dried raspberries as well, and I’m sure blueberries would do too. Strawberries tend to be too mild in flavour to stand up to the tang of the cream cheese and sour cream.

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