Things have been a little quiet round here lately, I spent an amazing two weeks in Greece on a yacht so I’ll be posting about that soon but for now, cheesecake! On a very rainy Friday afternoon, with my parents, niece and nephew in tow we braved the wet weather and headed for a pick your own farm, our persistence was rewarded with a whopping 3.5kg of cherries! Perfect to make this recipe twice, which I actually had to do because the first one disappeared so fast I didn’t have a chance to photograph it!
I love the ombre effect that’s happening here, deep purple, a delicate lilac and the light creamy colour, gorgeous! Remember to only weigh your cherries after you’ve pitted them and just a heads up, when you’re pitting them, it looks like a scene from Carrie.
150g digestive biscuits
420g cherries pitted and halved
2 Tbsp cherry brandy
400g cream cheese
250g ricotta cheese
50g castor sugar
zest from 1 lemon
½ teaspoon vanilla essence
icing sugar and extra cherries to serve
Pre-heat your oven to 180°C. Before we get going on the base put your cherries in a small saucepan with the cherry brandy and simmer for about 5 min, then take off the heat and let it cool. Now it’s time for your base, I have a little cheat, put all the biscuits in a sandwich bag and smash them up with a rolling pin until they’ve all turned to crumbs. Transfer to a small bowl, add the butter and pop it in the microwave for 1-2min, just long enough for the butter to melt, mix it together till all the crumbs are coated in the melted butter and press firmly into your cake tin for an even base. That’s it! Much easier than getting your food processor out.
Next mix together your cheeses, sugar, eggs, zest and vanilla until smooth, swirl in your cherry mixture but be gentle, you’re going for a marbled effect. Pour into the cake tin and bake for 60min. Once it comes out let it cool and set in the fridge for at least 2 hours. I added the zest and vanilla the second time round and I think it really brought out the flavour of the cherries.
Once it’s baked and cooled it’s time to dress it up a little. Place a combination of whole and halved cherries on top and with a sieve gently dust with icing sugar.
Eat it quick because I can guarantee this one will disappear fast!
(Recipe from an old Waitrose magazine)