- 2 cups graham cracker crumbs
- 5 tablespoons sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
- 6 tablespoons melted butter
- 24 ounces cream cheese
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 tablespoon lemon zest (recommended: Meyer lemon)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 5 eggs, separated
- 1/4 cup heavy cream
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 12 ounces creme fraiche
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- Cherry Confit, recipe follows
- Special equipment: a 9-inch non-stick Teflon coated spring form pan
- Serving suggestion: with a dessert wine (recommended: Alsatian Riesling).
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
Mix the graham cracker crumbs, sugar, cinnamon, and butter together in a mixing bowl. Pour the mixture into the springform pan and using a mixing cup press the crumbs into the base. Using your fingers gently press crumbs into the sides of the pan. Bake for 6 minutes. Let cool.
In a food processor, cream the cream cheese and the sugar together. Add the zest and vanilla, Blend until smooth. Add 5 egg yolks and heavy cream, pulse until smooth. Pour into a large clean bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk the egg whites until a soft froth forms. Add 2 tablespoons sugar slowly to the egg whites and continue to whisk until soft peaks form. Fold into cream cheese, a little bit at a time until fully integrated. Pour into the prepared springform pan. Bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes or until firm. Let cool for 1 hour and 30 minutes.
Mix the creme fraiche and sugar together and gently spread over the top of the cooled cheesecake. Bake for 5 minutes. Let cool until the topping is set or chill overnight and serve. Best served at room temperature.
Serve with Cherry Confit.
1 pound fresh cherries, pitted
2 cups sugar
2 cups water
1/2 vanilla bean, split
2 sprigs thyme (tied with string)
In a medium non-corrosive saucepan place water, sugar, cinnamon, vanilla and thyme. Bring to the boil, turn down heat and simmer for 2 minutes. Add cherries and simmer for 1 hour. If more liquid is needed add water. Continue to simmer until the cherry mixture is thick and the cherries are soft. Pour into a clean container and refrigerate until ready to use.
Yield: 6 servings
Cooking time: 1 hour 20 minutes