Give me a piece of cheesecake with fruit and I'm a happy woman. It's probably my favorite dessert, but, funnily enough, I have only ever made it a handful of times, and never with gelatin. Up to now, that is. This recipe was adapted from a magazine, and I've been wanting to try it out for months. I finally mustered the courage last night. You see, I find gelatin really intimidating. I must say it wasn't all smooth sailing either: as it turns out, for some reason it just didn't work with the cherries. The instructions on the bag said not to use it with pineapple, kiwi, figs and papaya, but it didn't say anything about cherries. Anyway, I used a bag of vanilla pudding powder for thickening (around here a bag of pudding contains 40 g/1.5 oz of powder and is used for 500 ml/2 cups of liquid). When it was finished it still didn't look promising. To be honest, although it had cooled down almost completely, it was still way too liquid. I was starting to despair when I decided to shove it in the freezer. Which was a miracle really - after about an hour or two in the freezer it was perfect! It didn't freeze, and the consistency was just right. Afterwards I just transfered it to the fridge and it's been heaven ever since.
For the crust
250 g (8 1/2 oz) flour
125 g (1 stick) butter
50 g (2 tbsp) sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1 tbsp vanilla sugar
For the filling
400 g (14 oz) soft cheese
500 ml (2 cups) whipping cream
1 bag (10 g) of gelatin
1 bag (1.5 oz) of vanilla pudding powder
500 g (1 lb) cherries
350 g (12 oz) powdered sugar
Combine all the ingredients for the crust in a bowl. It will be crumbly at first, but with a little patience it will all come together nicely. Refrigerate for 20 minutes.
Bake in a springform pan for about 20 minutes (200°C/390°F) or until golden.
Combine the cheese with 150g (5 oz) of powdered sugar. Melt the gelatin in 4 tbsp of cold water and leave it for 10 minutes, then melt it (without boiling). Add it to the cheese and sugar, combine, and leave to cool.
In a pan combine the cherries, the rest of the powdered sugar and vanilla sugar and let it rest for 10 minutes. The cherries will release liquid. Add enough water to have around 500 ml (2 cups) of the mixture. Heat it, and when it starts boiling add 1 bag of vanilla pudding powder dissolved in a few (3-5) tbsp cold water and cook for another minute or two, stirring constantly. When both the cheese and the cherries have cooled, whip the cream and combine all three. Pour over the crust and refrigerate overnight.
Serve with whipped cream on top.