Cherry pie topping:

  • 4 cups fresh pitted cherries
  • 1/2 cup water plus more if needed
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch


In a saucepan over medium heat, combine cherries, water, lemon juice, sugar and cornstarch. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low and cook, stirring frequently, for about 10 minutes. Cool slightly before serving as a topping, or refrigerate in an air tight container until ready to use.


  • 2 cups graham cracker crumbs
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 stick unsalted butter (melted)
  • 3 pounds cream cheese (6-8 oz. packages—Use Philadelphia Brand) (room temperature)
  • 1 3/4 cups sugar
  • 3 tablespoons AP flour
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla
  • 5 large eggs (whole) (room temperature)
  • 2 egg yolks (room temperature)
  • 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream (room temperature)
  • hot water for water bath used in baking process (placed in a larger pan)

PREPARATIONS: Prepare a 9-10 inch springform pan by cutting a round piece of parchment paper and place on the bottom of the pan, also wrap a sheet or two of foil under the pan and up the sides, crimping into place. This will keep the water bath from seeping into the pan. Make sure your oven rack is in the lower position (two up from the bottom). Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Get a larger, high sided pan that the springform pan can fit in and have it ready to use. Put a large pot of water on the stove to boil, or use a tea kettle, once boiling, leave on simmer.


CRUST: Mix graham crackers crumbs, sugar, and melted butter together in a bowl. Use a 9-10 inch springform pan. Line the pan with parchment paper for ease in transferring to a serving dish. Press graham cracker mixture into the springform pan either with your fingers or back of a spoon. Place prepared crust into the freezer until you finish mixing the filling.

CHEESECAKE: Beat the room temperature cream cheese in a large mixing bowl until creamy and smooth. Add in the sugar and flour; beat until well blended and scrape the sides of the bowl for about 3-5 minutes. Add in the lemon juice and vanilla and mix until blended. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Last of all, scrape down the sides again and add the heavy cream. Mix on low speed until smooth and creamy with no lumps.

Remove the baking pan from the freezer and pour the batter onto the cold crust. Place the filled springform pan into the larger pan; place both pans into the preheated oven. Pour hot water into the larger pan until it reaches half way up the springform pan sides. Bake in the preheated oven for 20 minutes. Without opening the oven door, after 20 minutes, lower the temperature to 225 degrees and continu baking for 1 hour more. After 1 hr. And 20 minutes, remove the cheesecake from the oven and place on a rack to cool for another hour or so. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate at lease 4 hours or more (overnight is best) prior to serving.

Serve plan or with your favorite topping. (We’re using Homemade Cherry topping).

Note: You can also prepare this in advance for future use. After cooling completely, cover with plastic wrap and then with foil. This will last up to 6 months in the freezer. Do not freeze with toppings.

Bonus video: Food Hacks and Finds