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Eclecticisms: Strawberry Cheesecake!

Monday, April 12, 2010

Strawberry Cheesecake!

Cheesecake is the only cake that I'm never able to turn down. I'm not a big fan of cake usually, but cheesecake is the exception. I had gotten fresh strawberries on sale about a week ago and it was time to use them up before they started to get soft, so I googled "strawberry dessert" and one of the first things that came back was cheesecake recipes. I have no idea why I didn't think of that in the first place... my making cheesecake eventually was really inevitable.

This weekend I made this cake, which my Mom says is the best cheesecake she's ever had. (It took me awhile to believe her!) I have to say, as far as I'm concerned this was just about the perfect consistancy, (not too dense but not too light and airy), and the crust was amazing. It was moist, just crunchy enough and full of flavor. This cake might become a staple dessert for me!   

You can find the original recipe here, at AllRecipes.com.


Ingredients


1 1/4 cups graham cracker crumbs
1/4 cup sugar
1/3 cup butter or margarine, melted
2 lbs fresh strawberries (the original recipe calls for frozen)
1 tablespoon cornstarch
3 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
1/4 cup lemon juice
3 eggs
1 tablespoon water


They probably sell graham cracker crumbs, but I didn't even think to look and just got a box of regular graham crackers. Making your own crumbs can be theraputic, because you get to beat the crap out of them. Just put the crackers in a bag (freezer bags work best because they are sturdier) and punch them until smooth!


Melt the butter. I might have mentioned this before, but the smell of melting butter always makes me crave one of my favorite snacks, popcorn! (Homemade of course!)


Combine graham cracker crumbs, butter and sugar.




I missed taking a picture of this step, but after you mix the ingredients for the crust, press them into a spring pan (which, by the way, is one of the coolest and most useful baking tools!). Refrigerate for 30 minutes, while you make the cake.

Slice the strawberries...(or  make your boyfriend do it, like I did! Heehee).




Combine strawberries and cornstarch in a food processor. I tried using a blender but it wasn't doing much of anything. Food processors are amazing. 30 seconds and I had a smooth sauce! I also added about 1 Tbs sugar, since I had used fresh berries instead of the sweetened/frozen ones that the recipe called for. I'm a firm believer that fresh is best.
Bring sauce to a boil in a saucepan. Boil for 2 minutes while stirring. Remove from heat.


Preheat oven to 300 degrees. While the sauce cools, beat  cream cheese and butter until fluffy.



Gradually beat in sweetened condensed milk and lemon juice. Add eggs, and beat on low until combined.


Pour half of the cream cheese mixture onto the graham cracker crust. It's a good idea to use tin foil under the pan just in case it leaks (especially while it's baking).



Now that the sauce has cooled a bit, seperate 1/3 cup to use in the cake. You can cover and chill the remaining sauce for topping the cake as you serve it. The recipe suggests thinning it with water, but I thought it was perfect the way it was so I left it alone. I actually had extra (2 lbs of strawberries goes a long way...) and we used some of it to top french toast. Yum!

Drop dots of strawberry sauce over the first cream cheese layer.


Spoon remainder of cream cheese mixture into the pan.



Use a knife to swirl only the TOP layer to create a pretty marbled effect.



Bake at 300 degrees for 45-50 minutes. The top will set but the cake will still be jiggly when you take it out. It will continue to set as it cools; don't overcook it. Cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Glide a knife (don't use a chopping or slicing motion and take your time for smoother edges)  along the edge of the cake to release it from the pan. Cool for another hour and refrigerate overnight.

In the morning, pop off the sides of the pan, cut and serve with your delicious strawberry sauce!



Cheesecake. It's what's for breakfast!





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2 Comments:

At April 13, 2010 at 6:50 AM , Blogger Leslie said...

This cheesecake was delicious - I actually ate the crust and I never do that!

P.S. I love your beauty shot - good natural lighting.

 
At April 13, 2010 at 11:14 AM , Blogger Son of X said...

It is what's for breakfast! And a damn fine breakfast it was. Hopefully it's what's for breakfast more often...
;)

 

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