Happy Father’s Day 2014!
My dad loves to garden and has several fruit trees and veggie plants. With the produce that he harvests, he often asks me when I visit, “Can you make a pie or a cake with this?” My dad has a cherry tree and since it is cherry season, I did what he asked! Made a delicious cherry-bottom cheesecake (pie).
I first made this pie, I think, about 3 years ago. But when I got the latest Bon Appétit issue, I was craving cherry pie again. This is the dessert that we had on my husband’s birthday! Both of us enjoy pies for birthdays so it was a perfect dessert. This would be great for dad’s too! Especially for my dad, using cherries from his tree!
The mini goat-cheesecakes that I made last year were a big hit, so I decided to go with the cheesecake theme again.
If you are lucky to have a cherry tree, you know how good they are and that you don’t need to do too much to good cherries for something tasty. I didn’t add too much for this cherry pie filling, just a bit of honey, salt–to enhance all of the flavors, lemon juice, zest, potato starch (for thickening), water, and a bit of kick with some vodka.
Blind-baking! I love the almond pie crust from Bon Appétit, highly recommended! There is a toasty flavor and the texture is really nice with that bit of crunch from almond flour.
My baked pie crust shrunk a little. I should have rested the pie shell before baking it. Remember to rest it in the fridge for at least half an hour to prevent shrinkage! Nevertheless, it’s still good. After blind baking, pour the cherry filling. Cover and let rest in the fridge while making the cheesecake filling layer!
(Edit: You could also reserve this cherry filling and use it as a topping for the cheese pie, instead. However, I liked the challenge of putting fruit on the bottom and the layered effect it gives).
It’s the same no-bake filling that I made last year, but I didn’t use goat cheese or goat milk and I only used half the amount of the original recipe. Instead of those ingredients, I used natural cream cheese and whole milk. Nice and fluffy!
You have to let it rest again in the fridge! This pie requires a lot of patience!
But it is so worth it.
Dad, it is a pleasure to make a pie or a cake with your garden bounty. I hope you enjoy this pie!
Cherry-bottom Cheesecake (Pie)
One 9 or 10-inch pie
- One pie crust to fit 9 or 10 inch pie tin (I suggest Bon Apetit’s almond crust or Serious Eats’ gluten-free crust), could also use a graham-based or nut-based crust
- 1 egg white from a large egg, beaten well
- Spray your pie tin with spray oil. Carefully roll out pie crust and place onto tin. Cover and let rest in refrigerator 30 min.-1 hr. Meanwhile, make cherry filling (recipe below).
- Heat oven to 425 degrees F.
- Blind-bake crust: Prick pie crust with fork and put a large sheet of parchment paper on top of crust. Pour pie weights (or rice or beans) on top of parchment paper layer to fill crust. Bake for 20 minutes.
- Lower oven temperature to 375 degrees F. Remove parchment and pie weights. Bake for 12 minutes or until crust is starting to become golden brown.
- Brush egg white on crust, covering the bottom and sides. Bake for 5 more minutes.
- 2 cups fresh (or frozen) cherries, pitted
- 1 teaspoon lemon (or lime) zest
- pinch of Himalayan salt
- 2-3 tablespoons honey (I like this Trader Joe’s brand raw honey)
- 4 tablespoons corn starch (or potato starch) mixed with 4 tablespoons water
- 1-2 tablespoons Vodka (or other compatible liqueur such as Kirsch, Amaretto, Cream Sherry or 1/8 tablespoon almond extract, optional)
- Place cherries in a saucepan over medium heat. Once cherries start to lose some juice, about a few minutes, add lemon zest, salt, honey, and corn starch mixture.
- Mix in the liqueur (optional). Cook over low heat, while mixing, until thickened. The sauce should coat the back of a spoon. Remove from heat and let cool to room temp (can also cool in the fridge).
- Once the cherry filling is cool, pour onto the prepared pie crust. Cover and keep cool in the refrigerator. Next, make cheesecake filling (recipe below).
No-bake Cheesecake Filling
- 4 grams powdered gelatin (Knox brand is my go-to, you could also use 8 grams agar-agar powder)
- 1/4 cup whole milk (used organic Wild Oats brand), divided in two
- 8 ounces cream cheese or goat cheese, at room temperature
- 2-3 tablespoons evaporated cane sugar
- pinch of Himalayan salt
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- 1/2 cup mascarpone cheese, at room temperature
- 1/4 cup goat milk
- 1/6 cup whole Greek yogurt (I like Fage brand or Trader Joe’s whole Greek yogurt)
- 1-2 tablespoons Harvey’s Cream Sherry (or other compatible liqueur such as Kirsch, Amaretto, or Vodka)
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract (or almond extract)
- Whisk the gelatin into 1/8 cup of milk. Let the gelatin bloom for ~5 minutes. Heat another 1/8 cup milk until warm or pop in the microwave set on high for 30 seconds. Pour into the bloomed gelatin mixture and whisk until dissolved. Set aside and allow to cool.
- In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, add the cream cheese, sugar, salt, lemon zest and lemon juice. Beat on low for about 30 seconds to break down the cream cheese and then mix on medium for a minute.
- Add the mascarpone cheese, 1/4 cup milk, Greek yogurt, Cream Sherry, vanilla extract. Beat on medium-high for 2 minutes until fluffy.
- On low speed, gently pour in the gelatin mixture and then mix on medium speed for 1 minute until smooth. Scrape down the sides at 30 seconds to fully combine.
- Pour on top of cherry layer on prepared pie crust.
- Refrigerate at least 3 hours covered with something like plastic wrap. Keep covered so the surface doesn’t get dry.
Wishing all of the fathers out there a very Happy Father’s Day! Thank you! Thanks to the grandfathers too! Thanks also to my father-in-law who is very supportive and always willing to help.
To my dad, I appreciate all the lessons you have taught me, in the kitchen, in being a good person, in taking care of animals and nature, the stories and experiences that you share, and also teaching me to have fun with life!