The Best Cherry Cheesecake Recipe You Will Ever Make

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The Best Cherry Cheesecake Recipe You Will Ever Make

May 18, 2021
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Eat the Season!
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Eat the Season!
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The Best Cherry Cheesecake Recipe You Will Ever Make

It’s officially cherry season and we are celebrating with the best cherry cheesecake we’ve ever tasted! Creamy and luscious with flavor notes of fresh cherries, pistachio and lemon running throughout, this cheesecake is magic for your tastebuds! 

Fresh Cherry Cheesecake photographed from above. There are fresh cherries scattered at teh base of the cheesecake. The cheesecake is covered with a red fresh cherry sauce and has cherry halves that have been macerated with lemon zest around the outside edge.

This is the only Cherry Cheesecake recipe you will ever need!

This is the perfect go-to recipe for all types of occasions! Maybe you are planning a BIG celebration and need something easy and delicious to help to take a little pressure off. Or perhaps you just want to practice a little radical self care. Allow me to recommend to you that it takes the form of fresh cherry cheesecake.

These are the key ingredients you need to make this fresh cherry cheesecake recipe!

Fresh California cherries

Did you know that California cherries are the first cherries of the season? Our short cherry growing season begins in mid-April and typically lasts into early June.

Real California Milk cream cheese & whole milk

This recipe calls for 4 glorious 8-ounce packages of cream cheese! When you see the Real California Milk seal, you’ll feel good knowing that the product is certified as having been made with 100% Real California Milk from Real California Dairy families.

Fresh lemon zest and juice

Did you know that California grows over 92% of the lemons available in the United States? Pretty cool huh?!

Pistachios:

Roasted pistachios are a “Complete Protein.” That means they contain all of the 9 essential amino acids necessary for supporting growth an maintain health for those 5 years an older.

A sideview of Fresh Cherry Cheesecake. The outside walls of the cheesecake have a pistachio crumble adhered to them. A knife is slicing into the cheesecake to cut a slice.

Looking for more ways to cook fresh recipes? Check out a few of our favorites below!

A Grilled Cherry Shortcake in a small mason jar.

Grilled Cherry Shortcake

Our fresh cherry inspired dessert is sure to be your new favorite summer treat! Grilling the cherries imparts a slightly smoky flavor and soft texture to this easy summer dessert.

Cocoa-Rubbed Grilled Pork Tenderloin with Cherry Salsa

Oh yeah babe, Salt & Wind ‘s spicy cherry salsa is our favorite because it is sweet, spicy, tart, and full of herbs. Did we mention it can be made in approximately two and a half milliseconds?

Fresh Cherry Limeade Cocktail

This Mess is Ours declared this sip the cocktail of the summer and we can see why!

Sweet, juicy Brook’s cherries, chunky lime wedges, coconut rum, and a splash of simple syrup make for an incredibly nostalgic flavor combination that is dangerously easy to sip!

Upclose image of Sweet Cherry Caprese Salad .

Sweet Cherry Caprese Salad

Cherries & mozzarella & and basil oh my!

This is not your traditional Caprese salad. We tossed in a few pecans for extra crunch and bathed it all in a light balsamic dressing. Your tastebuds will thank you for this one!

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to be a cherry farmer?

A farmer and his family being silly outside of a chicken coop making faces.

Joe Cataldo is a third generation fruit farmer who is very passionate about photography and giving back to the community. We had a great time chatting with him about fruit, photography, and family!

A slice of Fresh Cherry Cheesecake  being cut from the whole cake.

Share your creation with us by snapping a pic and tagging us on social using #CAGROWN. 

Craving more CA Grown goodness? Follow us on Pinterest for fresh and fabulous recipe inspo!

Fresh Cherry Cheesecake

Creamy and luscious with the flavor notes of fresh cherries, pistachio, and lemon running throughout, this fresh cherry cheesecake never disappoints.
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Keyword Cherry, cream cheese, lemon, Pistachio
Prep Time 40 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 40 minutes
Servings 12 slices

Equipment

  • 9-inch springform pan with 3-inch tall sides
  • electric mixer
  • food processor
  • 8 x 8 pan

Ingredients

Fresh cherry sauce

  • 4 cups fresh cherries stems removed pitted and halved
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • Juice from one lemon
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch

Pistachio crust

  • 1 1/4 tablespoons butter melted, divided
  • 1 1/4 cup raw pistachios
  • 9 graham crackers about 1 sleeve
  • pinch coarse kosher salt

Fresh cherry cheesecake filling

  • 4 (8-ounce) cream cheese packages cream cheese softened to room temperature
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • zest of 1 lemon divided
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • 1 cup fresh cherry sauce recipe follows
  • 4 eggs
  • 3 tablespoons all purpose flour regular and gluten free flour both work in this recipe.

To decorate

  • 2 cups fresh cherries pitted and halved
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
  • zest and juice of 1 lemon divided
  • 1/3 cup fresh cherry sauce recipe follows, plus more for serving

Instructions

To make the fresh cherry sauce

  • Add the halved, pitted cherries to a saucepan, stir in the water, sugar, lemon juice, and cornstarch. Bring the mixture just to a boil over medium heat, as soon as you see the first bubbles form and start to pop, reduce the heat to a low simmer and cook for 10 minutes, stirring frequently. Using the back of the spoon to break up the cherries as it cooks.
  • Once thickened remove the cherry sauce from the heat and let it cool to room temperature. Blend until smooth. The filling can be made up to 3 days in advance and stored in the refrigerator until you are ready to make the cheesecake

To make the pistachio crust

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F and brush the walls and the base of a 9-inch springform pan with 1/4 tablespoon of the melted butter.
  • Add the pistachios to the bowl of a food processor and pulse 10-12 times until coarse crumbs are formed. Remove 1/4 cup of the pistachio crumbs and set aside.
  • Add the graham crackers to the food processor and process until the mixture has reached the consistency of fine crumbs. Slowly stream in the remianing melted butter with the food processor running. Stop to scrape sides if necessary, set aside.
  • Sprinkle the reserved 1/4 cup pistachio crumbs into the prepared pan. Tilt and roll the pan until the sides of the springform pan are coated in pistachio crumbs. Press the mixture in the food processor into the bottom of the pan to form the crust.
  • Bake for 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool completley while preparing the filling.

To make the fresh cherry cheesecake filling

  • In the bowl of a stand mixer add the softened cream cheese, vanilla, lemon zest, and sugar. Beat until light and fluffy, about 2 to 3 minutes.
  • Add the cherry sauce and beat until incorporated.
  • Beat in the eggs, 1 at a time, then add the flour. Beat until incorporated. Pour the filling onto the crust in the prepared pan and smooth the top.
  • Place the filled springform pan inside of the 8×8 baking dish and place both pans in the oven. Before closing the oven door, carefully fill the pan 1/3 of the way up the sides of the springform pan with very hot water.
  • Bake until the center of the cheesecake moves slightly when the pan is gently shaken, about 1 hour and 20 minutes.
  • Remove the cake from the oven and let it cool completely on a wire rack.
  • Once cooled, use a pairing knife to loosen the sides the cheesecake from the pan. Chill the cheesecake for at least 4 hours before decorating to serve.

To serve

  • Combine the cherry halves, sugar and lemon juice in a bowl. Stir to combine then set aside to macerate.
  • Pour the fresh cherry sauce over the top and spread to the edges.
  • Arrange the macerated cherries around the edges. Sprinkle the lemon zest around the outside edge. Serve immediatley. Store any leftovers in the refridgerator.

Notes

This recipe requires 3 lemons total divided throughout the crust, sauce, filling, and garnish.

A note about the fresh cherry sauce

You will have more fresh cherry sauce than you need for the recipe and topping so the there is plenty left for serving on the side of each slice. 
 
Look for dairy products with the Real California Milk seal!

Frequently Asked Questions about California Cherries!

Are cherries grown in California?

California cherries are the first cherries of the season which is why they are so eagerly anticipated around the world. The short California cherry season begins in mid-April and typically lasts into early June.

Can cherries boost your mood?

Sweet cherries can support better quality and quantity of sleepThat’s due to their rich anthocyanin and melanin content, but in addition to better sleep, studies also found a decrease in reported anxiety and improved mood.

Who invented cheesecake?

People have been eating cheesecakes for over four thousand years!  The first cheesecakes are thought to have been made in Ancient Greece and consisted of wheat flour, pounded cheese and honey.  In fact, small cheesecakes were served to athletes during the first Olympic games in 776 B.C.  The oldest written cheesecake recipe is credited to the writer Athenaeus and dates back to 230 AD.  

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