The charm of this recipe is the contrast between the smooth, creamy filling and the fresh, juicy cherries. The filling is equally delicious used as a pastry cream for tartlets. The cherries can be stewed or preserved, but I love it best when they are fresh and very juicy. Remove the pips.
200g butter, melted
1 tsp ground ginger
350g wheatmeal biscuits, crushed into crumbs
250g cream cheese or mascarpone
2 tbsp kirsch
1/2 cup pure icing sugar, sifted
300mL creme fraiche
300mL cream, stiffly whipped
500g cherries, rinsed and stoned
Combine butter, ginger and biscuit crumbs. Press into a 22cm springform tin and even out base and sides using a straight-sided glass. Chill until firm.
Work cream cheese, 1 tbsp of the kirsch and icing sugar in a food processor until smooth. Add creme fraiche. Scrape into a bowl and fold in cream. Spread onto chilled biscuit base and smooth down evenly. Chill for at least 1 hour.
When ready to serve, remove cheesecake from tin and place on a serving plate. Sprinkle cherries with remaining kirsch and pile on top of cake. Cut with a knife dipped in hot water.