Ribbon of Cherry Cheesecake
Swirls of cherry give this cheesecake new dimension.
1 cup slivered almonds, chopped
1 cup graham cracker crumbs
1/3 cup butter or margarine, melted
1 (21-ounce) can cherry pie filling
3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar, divided
2 Tbs cornstarch
1/2 tsp almond extract
4 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
3 Tbs amaretto liqueur
1 Tbs lemon juice
1 tsp vanilla extract
3 eggs, slightly beaten
Combine almonds, graham cracker crumbs and butter in a medium bowl; mix well. Press crumb mixture evenly over the bottom and two inches up the sides of a 10-inch springform pan. Set aside.
Puree cherry pie filling in an electric blender or food processor until smooth. Pour pureed cherry pie filling into a medium saucepan. Combine 2 tablespoons granulated sugar and cornstarch; stir into cherry pie filling. Cook, stirring constantly, over low heat until mixture is thick and bubbly. Remove from heat. Stir in almond extract. Set aside to cool.
Put cream cheese, remaining 3/4 cup sugar, amaretto, lemon juice and vanilla in a large mixing bowl. Beat with an electric mixer on medium speed 3 to 4 minutes, or until well mixed. Add eggs all at once; beat on low just until mixed.
To assemble the cheesecake, pour one-third of the cream cheese mixture into prepared crust. Top with about 1/3 cup cherry puree. Swirl cherry mixture into cream cheese mixture, using a knife or spatula. Repeat layers twice, ending with cherry puree. Reserve remaining puree.
Bake in a preheated 350-degree oven 60 to 65 minutes, or until the center appears nearly set when gently shaken. Let cool on a wire rack. Refrigerate until ready to serve. To serve, spoon a generous tablespoon of puree on individual serving plates. Cut cheesecake into wedges and place on top of puree. Refrigerate leftovers.
Source: Cherry Marketing Institute