Sunday, February 19, 2012

Black Forest Cheesecake

My mom always told me that desserts are a woman's realm and guys don't really like desserts. Especially cheesecake: she declared it to be the girliest dessert of all. Well, know what? Mom was dead wrong. My husband could basically survive off of desserts (his dad and brother, as well), and his all time favorite dessert is, you guessed it... cheesecake. He also loves Oreos and cherries, so I decided to surprise him with this Black Forest Cheesecake for him in honor of Valentine's Day. I ended up having a terrible cold on Valentine's Day so didn't make it until the day before yesterday, but he loved it and declared it to be the best cheesecake he's ever had. I don't know about that, but it IS good. It was actually the first cheesecake I ever made back when I was 16 or so, and my family loved it, too! The recipe is from page 64 of a book called Recipe Hall of Fame Dessert Cookbook that is chock full of tempting looking goodies.

Quick note: It's kind of tough to tell when a cheesecake is done because it will still be jiggly in the center and if you stick in a toothpick, it will still come out wet. I just bake it for exactly as long as the recipe says and both times I've made it, it's turned out just fine.

Black Forest Cheesecake

20 oz Oreos (1 15 oz package and a third of another package)
1 T butter at room temperature
1 C cottage cheese at room temperature
2 8 oz packages cream cheese at room temperature
1 1/2 C sugar
4 eggs
1 C sour cream at room temperature
2 T lemon juice
1 t vanilla extract
1/3 C cornstarch
1/2 C melted butter
16 oz can cherry pie filling

Preheat oven to 325 and rub butter on bottom and sides of a 9 or 10 inch springform pan. Pulverize Oreos in food processor. Dust sides of springform pan and press about a cup and a half of crumbs into the bottom of the pan. Set the rest of the crumbs aside.

Place sugar and eggs in a the bowl of a stand mixer and beat with whisk attachment until smooth and fluffy. Place cottage cheese and cream cheese in food processor and process until as smooth as possible. Add to sugar and egg mixture and blend until combined. Add sour cream, lemon juice, vanilla extract, cornstarch, and butter, and whisk just until smooth (don't over beat!).

Pour half of the cheesecake mixture into the prepared springform pan, top with half of the reserved Oreo crumbs, then half of the cherry pie filling. Top with remaining cheesecake mixture and the rest of the Oreo crumbs. Bake in preheated oven 70 minutes, then turn off the oven and leave the cheesecake in the oven for 1 to 2 more hours.

Cool cheesecake completely in fridge, then cover with aluminum foil and let set several hours before serving, or ideally until the next day. When you're ready to serve the cheesecake, top the entire thing or the individual slices with the reserved cherry pie filling.

Yield: about 10 servings

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