Cherry Swirl Cheesecake
There is just something about cheesecake that makes City Spouse happy. And I must admit, cheesecake is one of my specialties. At least once every couple of months I’m asked to make one for someone for some occasion. This cherry swirl cheesecake is one of my favorites to make.
I love swirled cheesecakes. I think that there is just something special, something artistic to their presentation that is missing in a lot of other cheesecakes I make. Granted, sometimes a good ole plain New York-style cheesecake is just perfect. I tend to take those to potlucks and other gatherings as the simplicity appeals to a wider audience.
This gorgeous cherry swirl cheesecake was my gift to City Spouse for Valentine’s Day. To cut it into the heart shape, I just gently used a cookie cutter to slice gently through the cheesecake after it had rested and chilled to the perfect consistency.
Admittedly, this is not my most asked for or ordered variety. The typical order is much more specialized to the individual. I think that I make more pumpkin swirl cheesecakes over the holidays than I do across the span of the rest of the year. I will definitely get that recipe up for you all. It’s a wonderful cheesecake, with just the right amount of pumpkin and spice. I honestly think that the key to why most people love mine is because of the crust that I use.
I’m keeping that a secret for now, though. You all will just have to come back to get THAT secret recipe later.
Here is the recipe to make your own Cherry Swirl Cheesecake. The recipe for homemade cherry syrup follows.
Cherry Swirl Cheesecake
- 1 1/2 cup graham cracker crumbs
- 1/3 cup white sugar
- 6 tbsp. melted butter
- 1 cup frozen whole cherries (pitted), thawed and drained well
- 5 tbsp. cornstarch
- 3 8-oz. pkgs. cream cheese, at room temperature
- 1 1/3 cup sugar
- 1 tbsp. vanilla extract
- 2 extra-large eggs
- 2/3 cup heavy or whipping cream
- Mix butter, sugar and graham cracker crumbs until well-blended.
- Press into bottom of springform pan. Bake at 375 degrees F for about 7 minutes.
- Cool completely.
- Preheat over to 350 degrees.
- Pulse the thawed cherries in a food processor until smooth. Measure out 3/4 cup of the puree and reserve the rest for cherry syrup. (Recipe follows.)
- Stir in 1 tbsp. cornstarch and set aside. It will thicken as it stands.
- Put one package of the cream cheese, 1/3 cup of sugar and remaining cornstarch in a large bowl. Mix with and electric mixer on low until creamy, about 3 minutes, scraping down the sides of the bowl several times.
- Blend in the remaining cream cheese, one package at a time.
- Increase the mixer speed to medium and beat in remaining sugar, then vanilla.
- Beat in the eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition.
- Beat in the cream until just blended.
- Gently pour cheesecake mix over prepared crust in springform pan.
- Using a teaspoon, drop the cherry puree in small spoonfuls on top of the batter. Using a thin, pointed knife, swirl cherries into batter using a figure-8 motion. Do not mix, just swirl gently.
- Place springform pan in a large shallow pan containing hot water. Have the hot water come up about 1" on sides of springform pan.
- Bake about 75 minutes, or until edges are light golden brown and middle is set.
- Remove cheesecake from water bath.
- Transfer to wire rack.
- Allow to cool 2 hours undisturbed.
- After 2 hours, cover springform pan loosely and refrigerate for at least 4 hours.
- Serve with cherry syrup, if desired.
Cherry Syrup Recipe
Use leftover cherry puree from recipe above.
Place in a small, heavy stainless steel saucepan.
Add 1 cup of white sugar.
Heat over medium heat, stirring frequently until comes to a heavy rolling boil.
Let boil, stirring constantly, for 2 minutes.
Remove from heat.
Refrigerate and serve drizzled over Cherry Swirl Cheesecake.