This cheesecake requires a bit of an investment of time, but the luscious result is well worth it. The cherry pits infuse the ice-cream with that wonderful almond flavour found in all stone-fruit pits. Start this recipe a day ahead to make the ice-cream.
- 2 eggs
- 3 egg yolks
- 120 gm caster sugar
- 60 ml (¼ cup) verjuice
- 3 titanium-strength gelatine leaves, softened in cold water for 5 minutes
- 250 ml (1 cup) pouring cream
- 500 gm cream cheese, softened
- 1 tsp vanilla bean paste
- 200 gm (1 cup) white sugar
- 600 gm cherries, pitted (reserve pits for ice-cream)
- 25 gm reserved cherry pits
- 450 ml pouring cream
- 375 ml (1½ cups) milk
- 8 egg yolks
- 150 gm caster sugar
Chocolate sablé base
- 225 gm plain flour, sieved
- 80 gm icing sugar, sieved
- 35 gm Dutch-process cocoa powder, sieved
- 110 gm butter, finely chopped
- 1 each egg and egg yolk
- 1 tsp vanilla bean paste
- 60 gm butter, melted
- 1For cherry-pit ice-cream, preheat oven to 180C and roast cherry pits for 10 minutes. Cool slightly, then crack pits with a mortar and pestle, place in a saucepan with cream and milk, and bring to the boil over medium heat. Whisk egg yolks and sugar in a bowl to combine then, while whisking, add hot cream mixture. Return to pan and stir continuously over low heat until mixture reaches 83C on a sugar thermometer and thickly coats the back of a wooden spoon (6-8 minutes). Strain into a bowl (discard pits) and refrigerate until chilled. Churn in an ice-cream machine, then freeze in an airtight container. Makes about 1 litre.
- 2For chocolate sablé base, combine flour, icing sugar and cocoa in a large bowl, then rub in butter with your fingertips until mixture resembles coarse breadcrumbs. Make a well in the centre, add egg, egg yolk and vanilla, and gently mix to a smooth dough. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate to rest (at least 1 hour). Preheat oven to 180C. Roll out dough to 5mm thick, place on a 30cm x 40cm baking tray lined with baking paper and bake until a little puffed and lighter in colour (10-12 minutes). Cool on a wire rack, then coarsely crumble and process in a food processor to fine crumbs. Place 350gm crumbs in a bowl, mix in melted butter, then press mixture evenly into a 24cm springform cake tin lined with baking paper and refrigerate until required.
- 3Whisk eggs and yolks in an electric mixer until light and fluffy (4-5 minutes). Stir caster sugar and verjuice in a small saucepan over medium-high heat to dissolve sugar, bring to the boil and cook until syrup reaches 120C on a sugar thermometer (5-6 minutes). Squeeze excess water from gelatine, add to sugar syrup and swirl until melted. With the electric mixer on high, add sugar syrup to eggs in a thin, steady stream until combined, then continue whisking until mixture reaches room temperature (10-12 minutes).
- 4Blend cream, cream cheese and vanilla in a food processor until smooth, then fold into egg mixture. Spoon mixture evenly over sablé base, smooth top and refrigerate until set (3-4 hours).
- 5Stir sugar and 250ml water in a saucepan over medium heat until sugar dissolves. Add cherries and poach until tender (10-12 minutes), then remove cherries with a slotted spoon. Increase heat to high and simmer poaching liquid until syrupy (10-12 minutes). Add cherries to syrup, allow to cool, then refrigerate until required. Top cheesecake with poached cherries and serve with cherry-pit ice-cream. Cheesecake will keep refrigerated for 2-3 days.