Before cherry season is gone for another year I wanted to make one more thing and this cheesecake is a favourite in our house so I thought it the perfect way to say goodbye to this years delicious cherry crop! The combination of cherry and amaretto is truly delicious and a perfect treat for adults, especially served with a glass of Amaretto!
This cheesecake is the perfect Summer cheesecake as it's a version that isn't baked in the oven. All that is required is a little bashing, beating, mixing and chilling and you have the most delicious, creamy cheesecake that won't leave you hot and bothered on a sunny day!
200g Amaretti Biscuits*
50g Digestive biscuits (or Graham crackers)
500g cream cheese (such as Philadelphia), softened
1 vanilla pod, seeds removed**
100g icing sugar
4 tbsp amaretto liqueur
500ml double or whipping cream
30g icing sugar
Butter and line a 23cm loose-bottomed cake tin. Using either a food processor or a plastic sandwich bag and rolling pin, crush the biscuits until they are fine crumbs. Melt the butter in a medium sized pan, then once completely melted and the biscuit crumbs. Mix well then put into the cake tin, pressing down evenly to form a nice base. Chill in the fridge for 1 hour.
While the base is chilling make the filling. Put the cream cheese and the seeds from the vanilla pod into a large bowl then sift in the icing sugar. Beat well so the filling is soft and well mixed then add the amaretto liqueur and continue to mix well. In a separate bowl whisk the cream until it has soft peaks – be careful not to over whip it. Add the cream to the cheese mixture and fold it in until everything is well combined then pour it into the cake tin on top of the chilled biscuit base. Smooth the top with a spatula and return the cheesecake to the fridge until just before serving. Ideally it needs a good few hours to chill and set – overnight is best – but definitely a minimum of 3 hours.
To make the cherry topping, stone the cherries (I don't yet have a cherry pitter so I just cut them in half, twist to separate the two halves then remove the stone, but if you do own a pitter I definitely recommend using it!), then put the cherries into a medium sized pan. Sift in the icing sugar and mix well. Add a tablespoon of water then simmer gently for roughly 10 minutes until they have softened slightly and have a bit of a syrupy sauce. Leave to cool completely.
To serve the cheesecake carefully remove from the cake tin and put onto a serving plate. Just before serving spoon the cherries on top – you might not need all of the juice, but I like to drizzle it on top of the cherries.
* If you prefer you can use 250g of Amaretti biscuits – I only had 200g so I made the rest up with ordinary biscuits.
**To remove the seeds from a vanilla pod all you have to do is cut the pod in half lengthwise then using the back of a small knife simply scrape the seeds out of the pod.