Bing Cherry "Cheesecake"

Makes 8 servings.

Ingredients:

  • 1 c. graham cracker crumbs
  • 1 tsp. ground allspice
  • 3 Tbsp. unsalted butter, melted
  • 15 oz. ricotta cheese
  • 8 oz. neufchatel cheese
  • 1 15-oz. can bing cherries in syrup, drained, syrup reserved
  • 3/4 c. turbinado sugar, divided
  • 1 1/2 packages unflavored gelatin (1 1/2 tbsp.)
  • 8 oz. mascarpone cheese
  • 3 Tbsp. milk

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 350° F. Line bottom and sides of 8-inch springform pan with parchment paper. Place graham cracker crumbs and allspice in food processor with metal blade; process 5 seconds. Add butter; process until well mixed. Pat mixture in bottom of pan. Bake 10 minutes or until set; cool.

Whip ricotta cheese and neufchatel cheese in food processor until very smooth, about 5 minutes.

Place reserved cherry juice in small microwavable bowl; stir in 1/2 cup turbinado sugar. Heat in microwave 30 seconds. Sprinkle gelatin over juice and stir until dissolved. With food processor running, pour gelatin mixture through feed tube and continue processing 1 minute. Reserve 8 cherries for garnish; add remaining cherries to food processor. Pulse 2 or 3 times, just until coarsely chopped. Cool 30 minutes. Pour into cooled crust. Refrigerate 2 hours or until set.

Place mascarpone cheese, milk and remaining 1/4 cup turbinado sugar in food processor or in mixing bowl. Process or beat with electric mixer until stiff peaks form. Gently spread over top of cheesecake. Carefully remove side of pan; remove strip of parchment paper. Garnish with remaining cherries. Cut in wedges to serve.

Photo & recipe courtesy of Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board, Inc.