My first sunburn of 2020 was the result of standing in line for an hour outside of Costco, waiting to get inside. My average daily step count has dropped to about 300 steps. Frenchie and I haven’t seen friends or family in weeks, and we think nonstop of our vulnerable loved ones and the heroes on the front lines.
This shelter-in-place has upended our daily lives.
But before the pandemic, our routines didn’t allow us much time at home or alone with each other. We worked a lot during the week, and on the weekends, we were occupied by chores and social engagements. I feel guilty admitting this, but the change of pace — the new normal — has been nice for the two of us. It has reset our lives for, I think, the better.
Nowadays we have most meals together, and we’re extra careful about food waste. We work out together and actually enjoy it (this is something I never saw coming). I’m finding more of Frenchie’s puns and dad jokes funny, but it’s unclear if he’s gotten funnier or if my bar is just lower. Quarantine works in mysterious ways.
We’re at home, a lot, and by a lot, I mean all day. I’m baking more than usual, which pleases Frenchie quite a bit. My absolute favorite thing I’ve baked recently is this cherry blossom cheesecake. Amoretti and I worked on this delicious collaboration, and I used their cherry blossom extract and pistachio flour to develop this recipe. The cheesecake is both floral and earthy — the most perfect spring dessert. The fluffy, fragrant cheesecake filling tastes akin to a mousse, and the nutty pistachio graham cracker crust is a fantastic complement to the cherry blossom. Because we’re staying indoors, it’s easy to forget we’re currently in spring, but this dessert is a lovely little reminder.
Thank you to Amoretti for sponsoring this post and providing the ingredients. All opinions are my own.
Cherry Blossom Cheesecake with a Pistachio Graham Cracker Crust
- 150 grams graham cracker crumbs
- 50 grams Amoretti pistachio flour
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter melted
- 67 grams granulated sugar
- 32 ounces cream cheese softened
- 250 grams granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon Amoretti cherry blossom extract
- 5 eggs
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 dried strawberries (optional garnish)
- Preheat the oven to 475 degrees F.
- For the crust, combine the graham cracker crumbs, pistachio flour, sugar, and melted butter. Press into a 9-inch springform pan lined with parchment paper. Wrap foil around the bottom of the pan and chill while you prepare the filling.
- For the filling, with an electric mixer, mix the cream cheese, sugar, sour cream, vanilla extract, and cherry blossom extract. Mix in the eggs until incorporated.
- Take the crust out of the fridge and pour in the filling. Place the pan in a large pan filled with 1/2 inch of water.
- Bake at 475 degrees F for 12 minutes. Turn the oven down to 350 degrees F and bake for 55 minutes, until the top turns golden brown. Cool the cake on a wire rack for one hour, then cover and refrigerate for 4 hours.
- For the topping, with an electric mixer, whip the heavy cream, sugar, and vanilla extract. Spread over the chilled cheesecake. Garnish with the dried strawberries, and serve.