Gingersnap Cherry Cheesecake and Dinner Parties vs. Restaurants

This Gingersnap Cherry Cheesecake was our contribution to the party. Dinner parties, in my opinion, are so much better than restaurants. Cost, sure. But parking, pressure to eat and turn the table, not being able to talk with the whole group, the din of music and room noise. And I know how restaurants cook my food…

Restaurants use more oil, butter and salt than you could imagine. And chefs touch the food with their fingers. Nooo, I am not Howard Hughes; I don’t obsess about this.

For a dinner party, we touch the food, too! We use our hands to make dough from scratch. Our fingers press crust into the pie pan. We tear salad greens, roll meatballs, dice tomatoes and poke the oven-hot cake to see if it springs back, done!

I love dinner parties. I’m a snoop. Seeing the inside of friends’ homes is FUN. Their tchotchkes have stories. Their sterling has heritage. Great gardens. Lovely crown molding. “Is that your laundry room? Where is the garage? Which door do you bring your groceries through? Where do you put your Christmas tree?”  TOTAL SNOOP, INDEED. I even turn over plates to see the manufacturer stamp.

Poor Andrea and Nelson got my full treatment. Andrea’s home is my idea of perfect. Nice street, walking distance to eats. It’s a petite pillbox just right for a Woman Of A Certain Age… ME, not her!!  They hosted the dinner party for four. Nelson and Larry pow-wowed in advance about wine. Sicilian Andrea produced awesome meatballs (Mother’s recipe), lovely salad with fresh cooked beets and lentils, and some raviolis I never wanted to stop eating.

I made Gingersnap Cherry Cheesecake from the November 2010 Real Simple magazine. I didn’t notice in the directions how high to make the crust edge (mine giving the impression of a “crown,” while theirs was lower than the final creamy layer). And I probably should have slightly heated the cherry preserves because they just would not spread on top of the cheesecake.  No biggie… invite a couple over for dinner and give it a try, then tell me what you think.

Gingersnap Cherry Cheesecake from Real Simple Magazine

  • 3 cups ground gingersnap cookies
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
  • 3 8-ounce bars cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 cups sour cream
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup cherry preserves

Heat oven to 350 degrees F.  In a medium bowl, combine the ground gingersnaps and butter.  Using a straight-sided dry measuring cup, press the mixture into the bottom and 2 inches up the side of a 9-inch spring form pan.

Using an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese and 1 cup of the sugar until smooth.  Beat in the eggs, one at a time.  Beat in 1/2 cup of the sour cream and 1 teaspoon of the vanilla.

Pour the mixture into the crust and bake until just set, 40 to 45 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine the remaining 1 1/2 cups of sour cream, 1/4 cup of sugar and 1 teaspoon of vanilla.  Spread over the hot cheesecake and bake until set, 3 to 5 minutes more.  Let cool in the pan, then refrigerate for at least 4 hours.  Run a knife around the edge of the cheesecake before unmolding.

Spread the preserves over the cheesecake before serving.  Serves 12.

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

1 sippitysup November 29, 2011 at 6:24 pm

The crust “crown” is my favorite part! GREG

2 Faythe November 28, 2011 at 2:21 pm

Gingersnap and cherries! That cheesecake looks fantastic. I’ve only made pumpkin gingersnap cheesecake, so I’ll have to try this. Thanks for sharing.

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