Although I was getting tired of all the cheesecake recipes flooding over the internet, I couldn’t miss the perfect pair between the cherries and the cheese cream. So I’ve made my cheesecake with graham crackers batter and a soft, creamy, moist and fluffy cheese cream. It’s absolutely true, that nothing compares to it! I tried to keep it as natural as possible, no ricotta, no mascarpone, no prepacked soft cheese creams, but the regular cottage cheese mixed with the regular double cream along other flavors, all from the local market! And the result: one of the best cheesecakes I’ve ever made!
For the crust
• 15 graham crackers, finely ground
• 1/2 cup of whole grain flour
• 1 stick(120 g) unsalted butter, melted
• 2 tbs sugar
• a pinch of salt
Mix the crackers using a food processor, then add the rest of ingredients and mix until it comes together. Press the dough on the bottom and on the sides of a round pan(I used one of 9 inch or 22cm diameter) covered with backing paper. Bake at 325 f(160 c) or medium heat for about 10 minutes. Be careful not to burn it, as it does easily! Let it cool.
For the cheese cream
• 1/2 cups sugar
• lemon zest from 1 lemon
• orange zest from 1 orange
• 16 oz cottage cheese
• 3-4 tbs sour cream
• 2 tbs whole grain flour
• 3 large eggs, at room temperature
• vanilla extract
• a pinch of salt
Mix the cheese cream with the sour cream in a food processor, together with half of the sugar quantity, 3 egg yolks, lemon and orange zest, vanilla extract. You have to mix them really well, because the cottage cheese sometimes can be a little hard or dry, mine was a little, but no problem, I used the hand mixer, to mix it really well! After that add the flour and mix a little more to incorporate. Beat the egg whites separately with a pinch of salt. When beaten really well add the remaining sugar, and mix more. Incorporate the beaten egg whites into the cheese cream, don’t overdo it, or you will destroy the bubble in the foam! Just fold it very soft with a spoon. Then add it to the cracker crust.
Now here comes the tricky part! Because the cracker layer is already done and this thick layer of cheese cream has to cook for a long time in the oven, you have to do something to save the cracker crust from burning. So set the pan in a roasting pan , filled halfway with water or if you don’t have one(like me) put it in another, larger pan, then fill the oven’s flat pan with water and place it in there. Cook it on medium heat for an hour and 15 minutes. When done, stop the fire from the oven and leave it in there for one more hour. Get it out and let it cool at room temperature, then put it in the fridge. Meanwhile make the cherry layer.
For the cherry topping you need
• 14 oz(400 g) of fresh pitted cherries
• 2 tbs lemon juice
• 2 tbs sugar
• 1 tbs whole grain flour
• 1/2 cup water(I replaced it with cherry juice)
Heat the cherries on the stove. Mix separately the flour with the sugar, water and lemon juice. Add it to the cherries. Cook until it thickens. Let it cool, then place it in the fridge. Spread it over the cooled cheese cream.
Place it back to the fridge, and let it cool preferably over night. I know, this kills me too! But if you don’t worry about the looks, the cheesecake is also good after 2h in the fridge.