New York Cherry Cheesecake

New York Cherry Cheesecake


Ingredients

Butter for the pan

Crust

12 whole digestive biscuits
3 tablespoons sugar
75g unsalted butter, melted

Filling

Four 250g packages cream cheese, at room temperature
1 1/4 cups sugar
2 teaspoons finely grated lemon zest
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
4 large eggs

Sour cream topping
2 cups sour cream
3 tablespoons sugar

Cherry topping

500g fresh cherries, halved and pitted
3 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon lemon juice

Method

Position a rack in the centre of the oven and preheat the oven to 180°C/160°C fan-forced. Lightly butter a 23cm springform pan with 8cm- high sides.

To make the crust: In a food processor, grind the biscuits into very fine crumbs (you should have 1 1/3 cups). Add the sugar and melted butter and pulse until moistened.

Press the crumb mixture evenly onto the bottom and 4 cm up the sides of the pan. Bake for 12 minutes, or until the crust is a shade darker. Cool on a rack, then wrap three layers of wide heavy - duty foil around the outside of the pan.

To make the filling: Clean the food processor bowl, then blend the cream cheese and sugar until smooth, occasionally scraping down the sides of the bowl with a flexible spatula. Add the lemon zest, lemon juice, and vanilla; pulse to combine. Add the eggs and pulse until blended.

Pour the filling into the crust- lined pan. Place the pan in a large roasting pan.

Pour in enough hot water to come halfway up the sides of the springform pan. Bake for about 1 hour 15 minutes, or until the filling is set except for the very centre when the pan is gently shaken (the cake will become firm when chilled).

Meanwhile, prepare the sour cream topping: In a medium bowl, stir the sour cream and sugar to blend.

Spoon the sour cream mixture onto the hot baked cheesecake and smooth it over the top. Continue baking the cheesecake for 15 minutes, or until the topping is set. Let the cheesecake cool in the pan on a rack for 1 hour.

Run a sharp paring knife around the edges of the cheesecake to loosen it from the pan sides (leave the sides in place). Cover loosely with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 8 hours, or until thoroughly chilled.

To make the cherry topping: In a medium bowl, combine the cherries with the sugar and lemon juice and toss to coat. Let stand at room temperature, tossing occasionally, for about 30 minutes, or until juices form.

Remove the pan sides from the cheesecake. Cut the cake with a large sharp knife (dip the knife in hot water after each cut to moisten it and wipe it clean) and transfer to plates. Spoon the cherry topping over and serve.

Credits: 'What's for Dinner?' by Curtis Stone, Published by Random House Australia