Just got a call from a listener requesting this recipe, which aired on Nash Holos June 20.
With cherry season in full swing, this is the time of year to make it! It calls for sour cherries, tho, which aren't as easily found in supermarkets and greengrocers as the sweeter Bing or Rainier varieties.
If you are lucky enough to have a sour cherry tree in your backyard, make sure to try this yummy recipe. If you don't, and can't find a local greengrocer or fruit stand that sells them, you can always get them in a jar at supermarket or East European deli. (They may also be labelled Morello cherries.)
This recipe for Sour Cherry Cheesecake, courtesy Judy Hrynenko of Prairie Cottage Perogies is a modern adaptation of a traditional cheesecake.
As with most traditional Ukrainian cheesecakes, it uses cottage cheese rather than cream cheese. However, the short pastry crust is replaced with one made of a crumb mixture.
Tip: Make sure to use dry cottage cheese and not the creamed variety.
Sour Cherry Cheesecake
3/4 cup graham wafer crumbs
2 Tbsp. sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon
3 Tbsp soft butter
1 lb dry cottage cheese
3 eggs, separated
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup thick cream
1 tsp grated lemon rind
2 tsp cornstarch
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup sour cherries, fresh, frozen or from the jar, cut in half
1/4 cup walnuts
Mix the crumbs with the sugar and cinnamon. Work in the butter. Pat evenly into the bottom and sides of a buttered 8x8" baking pan.
Press the cheese through a sieve or if you have a food processer, just a few pulses will do to make it smooth.
Beat the egg yolks, adding the sugar gradually and beating continually until light and fluffy. Combine with cheese.
Add salt, cream, lemon rind, cornstarch, vanilla and cherries. Mix thoroughly.
Beat the egg whites until stiff and fold into the mixture.
Spread over the crumb crust and sprinkle with the chopped nuts.
Bake in a moderate oven (325ºF) for 55 to 60 minutes. When done, open the oven door and leave the cake inside to cool for 1/2 hour.
For an even fuller, richer taste, top with whipped cream.