graham crackers (2 sleeves)
(1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
plus 4 tablespoons sugar
8-ounce packages cream cheese, at room temperature
sour cream, at room temperature
pure vanilla extract
large eggs, at room temperature
10-ounce bag frozen cherries
fresh lemon juice
- Make the cake: Heat oven to 325° F. In a food processor, pulse the graham crackers until fine crumbs form. Add the butter, salt, and 2 tablespoons of the sugar and pulse to combine. Using a straight-sided dry measuring cup, press the mixture into the bottom and 2 inches up the sides of a 9-inch springform pan.
- Using an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese and 1 cup of the remaining sugar on medium speed until smooth. Add 1 cup of the sour cream and 1 teaspoon of the vanilla and beat to combine. Beat in the eggs one at a time. Pour the mixture into the crust and bake until just set (the center will be slightly wobbly), 50 to 60 minutes.
- In a small bowl, combine the remaining 1 cup of sour cream, 2 tablespoons of sugar, and ½ teaspoon of vanilla. Spread over the hot cheesecake, then bake until set, 3 to 5 minutes more. Let cool to room temperature in the pan, then refrigerate for at least 2 hours. Run a knife around the edge of the cheesecake before unmolding.
- Make the cherry sauce: In a large skillet, combine the cherries, sugar, salt, and 2 tablespoons water. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring often, until the mixture begins to thicken, 4 to 6 minutes.
- In a small bowl, stir together the cornstarch and 2 tablespoons water. Add to the cherries in the skillet and cook, stirring, until the mixture is thick and syrupy, 1 to 2 minutes. Stir in the lemon juice. Let cool completely. Serve with the cheesecake.