I love fresh cherries and my favorite are rainier, I could sit down and eat a pound by myself! So yummy and delicious. My husband loves cheesecake so I came up with this recipe to combine my love of rainier cherries and his love of cheesecake, let me say it was love at first bite!
For graham crust:
1 cup finely crushed graham cracker crumbs (12 graham cracker sheets)
1 TBS sugar
3 TBS unsalted butter, melted
1 lb cream cheese (two 8 oz packages), at room temperature
2/3 cup sugar
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups of pitted and halved Rainier Cherries
2 tbs of honey
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line standard muffin tins with paper liners. I did not use the paper liners because I have a muffin pan that nothing sticks to it, if you need to use liners.
Grind your cracker sheets into crumbs using a food processor. You can also just place the crackers in a large ziploc and have at it with a rolling pin or hammer, until you achieve a finely ground crumb. Mix crumbs and 1 tablespoon sugar in a bowl. Stir in butter. Press 1 heaping tablespoon of mixture in bottom of each cup. Bake until set, about 7 minutes. Let cool in tins on wire racks.
Reduce oven temperature to 275 degrees. Beat cream cheese with a mixer on medium speed until smooth. Add the sugar, salt, and then vanilla. With mixer running, add eggs slowly, scraping down side of bowl. Pour batter into muffin cups, filling almost to the top.
Bake until sides are set but centers are wobbly, about 20 minutes. Let cool in tins on wire racks. Wrap tins tightly with plastic, and refrigerate 4 hours or overnight.
Place pitted and halved rainier cherries and honey, in a saucepan, on medium heat, stir and cook until warmed about 3-4 minutes, let cool. Spoon cherries on top of each cake. Cheesecakes will keep, covered and refrigerated, for about 3-5 days.
Kelli B 🍒