As many of us are preparing to make 2023 the year of gym memberships and low-carb/paleo/whole 30-style diets, it may seem counter-intuitive to post a recipe for Strawberry Cheesecake on the second day of the new year.
Anyway, I’m going to go ahead and do it.
The reason why this Strawberry Cheesecake is exceptional is that:
The Accidental Recipe
Our family has a long and sad history with this particular cheesecake recipe. My mom, who has developed a serious sweet tooth over the years, dragged me to the refrigerator as soon as I got there and pointed at the two packages of cream cheese that had been there since Thanksgiving but had never been touched.
As I continued rummaging around in that refrigerator, I also saw a box of strawberries on sale. They were beginning to show signs of deterioration, and a jar of strawberry preserves was. It was one of those fruit preserve jars whose shelf life in the fridge is best left unscrutinized. A few lemons also looked like they’d seen better days.
Such fridge clean-outs are commonplace in our household and frequently result in some of our favorite meals. Not all cheesecakes have strawberries, but this one does.
My mother, a cheesecake expert, said it was the best she’d ever had, and I made it for Christmas dessert. My grandfather ate half of what was left the following day, packing it in a tupperware in her duffel bag because he, my sister, and I all loved it.
That alone should convince you that the recipe deserves to be shared on a food blog.
It’s time to stop chatting. Proceed with the recipe, please.
For the crust:
- 240g of graham crackers (16 pcs.)
- 6 tbsp. of melted butter (85g)
For the Filling:
- 1 lb. of cream cheese (450g at room temperature)
- 2/3 cup of granulated sugar (135g)
- ⅓ cup of milk (80 ml)
- 2 eggs
- ½ cup of sour cream (120g)
- 1 tsp. of vanilla extract
- Zest of 1 lemon
- 2 tbsp. of all purpose flour (18g)
For the Strawberry Sauce:
- ¼ cup of strawberry jam(about 80g)
- ⅓ cup of water (80 ml)
- ⅓ cup of granulated sugar (35g)
- 1 ½ tsp. of cornstarch
- Juice of 1 lemon
- 1/2 lb. of strawberries (225g, hulled and quartered lengthwise)
- Put your oven on to 350 degrees F. (175 degrees C). Prepare a greased springform pan with a foil-lined bottom. The pan should measure 9 inches in diameter. The cheesecake will be submerged in water, and you don’t want any of it to leak in through the bottom of the pan.
- Put the graham crackers in the food processor and crush them into small pieces. Pulse them until they’re the size of fine breadcrumbs. When the mixture resembles wet sand, add the melted butter and process again. Pack the graham cracker crumbs into the bottom of the springform pan as tightly as possible.
- Mix the cream cheese on low speed until smooth in the bowl of a mixer with the paddle attachment. Mix in the sugar at a low speed for a few minutes. Add the milk and blend on low speed. Slowly pour in the eggs, mixing until each is fully incorporated. Blend in the sour cream, vanilla, lemon zest, and flour. You shouldn’t let too much air into the mixture or overmix.
- After the pie crust has been made, pour the filling inside. Remove any trapped air by tapping the pan on the counter and setting it on a baking sheet with a 1-centimeter-deep pool of water.
- Put the whole setup in the oven and bake for 30 minutes. Keep your hands away from the oven! In order to prevent cracking, turn off the oven after 30 minutes but leave the cheesecake inside with the door closed for another 3 hours. Put in the fridge to chill.
- Preparing the strawberry sauce will take some time. Jam, water, and sugar should be combined in a small saucepan. Cook at a low simmer for a while, stirring often. Keep at a low simmer for three minutes or until the sugar has completely dissolved.
- Whisking constantly, dissolve the cornstarch in the lemon juice and add it to the pot. The syrup should be bubbling but not foaming when done. It’s time to take the syrup off the stove and let it cool. Add the strawberries and mix well.
- Strawberry sauce should be served alongside sliced cheesecake.