Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Amazing Cheesecake with Amaretto Cherries

Nothing says love and friendship like making someone a homemade dessert. It turns coffee into an occasion.  When I was in Seattle, my new friends Kathy, Paula and Mary often invited me out to dinner when Dan was working late. We told stories and were usually the loudest table at the restaurant. Laughter tends to do that. The girls wanted to meet Dan, so we made a plan. I'd go to an early dinner with them and then Dan would meet us at Kathy's house after work for dessert.  Mary offered to make her famous cheesecake and I'm so glad she did! She gave me her blessing to share it with you.
This is her magnificent cheesecake (above). Kathy and I arranged each berry just so and had fun turning on different lights and getting the focus just right. One bite and we knew it was blog-worthy.

I made it for my family this week. I added a graham cracker crust and made a cherry-amaretto topping. Best-Cheesecake-Ever

Cheesecake with Amaretto Cherries

For Crust:
Mix 1 stick of melted salted butter with 2 cups of graham cracker crumbs and 2 Tablespoons of white sugar. Press into ungreased round 9" springform pan. Place in freezer while you make the cheesecake.

For Cheesecake Center:

3 (8 oz) packages of cream cheese (room temp)
5 eggs
1 cup white sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon almond extract

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Beat cream cheese until smooth. Add one egg at a time. Add sugar, salt and extract. Mix well until smooth and pale lemon color - no lumps. Remove crust from freezer and pour cheesecake filling into it. Place in oven and bake 45-50 minutes. When cooked, remove from oven and allow to cool 20 min on a rack.

For 2nd Layer of Cheesecake:

1 1/2 cups of sour cream, room temp
1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract
2 Tablespoons of white sugar

Stir ingredients above together. Spread on cheesecake after it has baked and cooled for 20 minutes. Return cheesecake to 325 degree oven for 10 minutes.
Remove from oven and allow to cool. Remove springform ring once cheesecake has cooled.

Cherry Amaretto Topping:

2 cups of frozen pitted tart cherries
2 Tablespoons of white sugar
2 Tablespoons of cornstarch
Generous splash of Amaretto liqueur

Mix cherries, sugar and cornstarch in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Stir and allow the cherries to melt, give off liquid and let the cornstarch thicken it. It will be glossy and beautiful. Remove from burner and cool. Add liqueur and stir. Spoon over center of cheesecake or slice by slice, as desired. 
Set the table, brew a pot of coffee and Enjoy!

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