NOTE: You can make this using Raspberries if you are allergic to cherries!
For the Crust:
1.5 cups ground graham cracker crumbs
1/4 cup brown sugar
4 to 5 TBL butter, melted (You want the consistency mushy, but not oily, like a crust!)
1 and 1/2 packages of cream cheese, softened (12 oz)
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 tea vanilla extract 1 tea almond extract 1 tea lemon juice
1/2 cup Confectioners Sugar
2 cups frozen pitted sweet cherries or fresh pitted ones2 TBL cornstarch 1 TBL fresh lemon juiceApprox 1/4 cup cane sugar1/2 cup water
Directions To make the crust:
Mix the graham cracker crumbs with your sugar and butter. Press into your glass dish or jar. You can certainly use a glass baking dish if that’s more convenient. Chill in the fridge while you make the filling.
For the filling:
I used my KitchenAid mixer (with the beater attached) to blend the cream cheese until it was fluffy, adding in the heavy cream, extracts, lemon juice and sugar. Beat until smooth and fluffy. Pour this mixture into the jars, on top of the crust, leaving some room for your cherry topping. Put these jars back into the fridge to continue chilling while you make the topping.
To make the topping you have 2 choices:
- You can simply use a prepared cherry pie filling. You would open the can and spoon it on top. Very fast and easy and the kids won’t know the difference!
2. To make your own, you will need the ingredients noted above in “Cherry Topping.”The first thing I do is mix a little bit of water into the cornstarch to get it wet and stir it until it is smooth. For me, this prevents it from clumping in the actual mixture. You will be combining everything into a pot, and then just bring it to a boil, then immediately turn down the temperature to simmer it. Stir frequently for about 8 to 10 minutes until thickened. If you prefer your mixture thicker, you can add more cornstarch.
Cool slightly before topping your cherry cheesecake which should be even cooler because they were sitting in the fridge.