Cherry Cheesecake Wonton Bites

Posted by on Aug 1, 2013 in Desserts, Food Journal

Cherry Cheesecake Wonton Bites

Cherry Cheesecake Wonton Bites with a Cherry Balsamic Reduction – (recipe and video tutorial follow) – The other day I was walking through the produce isle at the market and there was this huge display of cherries and…….they got me. I just couldn’t resist, they were so beautiful and of course you know that they’re going to be amazing because they’re in season right now. So, anyway, I ended up going home with like five pounds of cherries which seemed like a great idea until I got home and remembered that I had just bought a ton of mangos, blueberries and plums. What can I say, I get excited at the grocery sometimes – it’s a Chef thing I think. I decided to rinse and pit my cherries and just let the kids have at them, but then, I had an idea. What was the idea? Well, I’m glad that you asked. I decided to try stuffing some wontons with a mixture of cherries and cream cheese and while I was at it, I figured I might as well make some kind of yummy sauce. So, I went into the kitchen and started playing and my beautiful creation of cherry cheesecake wontons was born. My family and I absolutely loved them and I hope that you will too. Enjoy and happy cooking!

To Start
2 cups fresh cherries
1/4 cup sugar

For the sauce
juice from cherries
2 Tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup sugar

For the Wonton Filling
12 ounces cream cheese
2 Tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
pureed cherries

35 – 40 Wonton skins

1. Place your cherries into a food processor along with the 1/4 cup sugar and pulse until you have small pieces (like you minced them (see video)). If you don’t have a food processor, this recipe will be slightly more difficult. You can mince your cherries on a plate and reserve the juice or if you have a potato masher, you could mash them with that in a bowl. However, the food processor is your friend and will give the best results with this recipe. Which ever way you decide to chop your cherries, make sure that you don’t lose any of the juice, we need it to make the sauce :)
2. Once your cherries are chopped, transfer them to a strainer and place it over a bowl to catch the juice. Also, pour any remaining juice from your food processor to the bowl. Set to the side. You want your cherries to set for about ten minutes. The sugar will help pull some extra juice out of them.
3. Rinse and dry your food processor and place the cream cheese along with the two Tablespoons of sugar and the 1/2 teaspoon of nutmeg in it. Pulse the cream cheese mixture a few times and then turn the food processor on for about 20 seconds to make the cream cheese, sugar and nutmeg form into a smooth mixture.
4. Place the cream cheese mixture into a medium sized mixing bowl. Set to the side.
5. Set up your oil on the stove that you will be frying your wontons in, but do not turn on the heat yet. Also, this is a good time to set up your “wonton station”. I use a sheet pan for my “station”. You will need to have your wonton wrappers, one egg – mixed up in a small bowl, and your cream cheese mixture. Getting this stuff set up now is allowing your cherries to set for the proper amount of time.
6. Check on your cherries. The sugar should be causing a lot of their juice to come out. Gently press on them with a rubber spatula or spoon to help squeeze out the juice. Be careful not to knock any of the cherry pieces into the juice. If you do, just make sure to strain them before you put the juice into your pan later.
7. Once you have all of the excess juice out of your cherries, add them to the cream cheese mixture and gently fold them in until they are evenly combined. Set the juice to the side.
8. Place one wonton wrapper out on your station with a corner facing you. Place a small spoon of the cream cheese mixture into the center of your wonton wrapper. Put a small amount of the egg onto the edges of the wonton wrapper. Fold the wonton by first bringing up opposite corners (the top and bottom of the diamond) to touch and then bringing in the sides. Carefully seal all of the edges of the wonton. If you do not properly seal your wonton, it will leak when you cook it. Also, I recommend doing a couple of “test wontons” before you fill all of them just to get the amount of filling right. The reason I say this is because if you put too much filling, they will open when you cook them and all of the filling will pour out. This happened to me on my first test batch. I over filled them and over half of them opened. It was very sad. So, just to give you an idea, I made 24 fat wontons in my first batch and 40 smaller wontons in my second. My second batch only had a few casualties which made me happy :)
9. Heat your oil. I don’t have a temperature gage on mine, but I would guess my oil is between 325° and 350°F. I look for bubbles to form around the edges of what I’m cooking to know that my oil is ready – as a side note, if your oil starts smoking, if is way too hot. You will also need your oven heated to 350°F.
10. Grab your cherry juice, add the 1/4 cup of sugar and the two Tablespoons of balsamic. Stir to combine. Put the juice into a small pan and put it on the stove on medium heat. I don’t recommend starting the reduction until you are at the stove frying your wontons because it needs to be watched. Stir the sauce every few minutes with a high heat spatula making sure to scrape the sides and the bottom. It will slowly start to thicken. When it is slightly thicker, turn off the heat. It will thicken more as it cools. You want it to be thick enough when it cools so that it doesn’t run all over the plate when you pour it, but thin enough to pour it with a spoon. It is better to turn it off early and check it because you can always heat it and reduce it more but once you over-reduce it, it is harder to deal with. Set it to the side when it’s done. Also, you should be frying your wontons while it is reducing – oh and you may want to turn on your vent fan if you have one for the frying and the reducing.
11. Now it is time to cook your wontons. Normally when you cook wontons (like crab wontons) you would just cook them in the oil. However, these are a bit more temperamental and need special treatment. So, we are going to fry them just until they float and them finish them in the oven. This is because these guys get a lot of steam build up as they cook – especially in the oil and once again, they will open if you have them in the oil for too long. I know I keep mentioning them opening, and I don’t want to scare you into not making this recipe, I just want you to be aware so that you are careful and you don’t end up with a bunch of open wontons and a sad face. So anyway, fry them just until they float.
12. Remove your wontons as they start floating onto a sheet pan lined with a lint free towel (I use a cloth napkin). This allows any excess grease to drain. Move them to another sheet pan and then into the oven. Allow them to cook until they are golden brown on the edges. It will take about nine to ten minutes.
13. Remove the wontons from the oven return them to the sheet pan lined with the lint free towel. Sprinkle them with powdered sugar.
14. Place them onto the serving plates and drizzle with the cherry balsamic reduction.
15. Serve warm – enjoy!

Please enjoy this how – to video!

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