Strawberries and Cream Cheesecake

It is the end of summer here in Southern Oregon and also the end of our strawberry season.  This means amazing SWEET strawberries that are not huge.  This is my last hurrah dessert before I go on a diet.  The next recipe will have to be low or no fat, my jeans are just getting way to tight. Ugh.  Don’t bother trying to use no-fat cream cheese, it just doesn’t work (tried it, it sucked).  Just eat a small piece and enjoy; then go take a long walk (5 miles should do it).  (We have also tried this with local blackberries which grow wild on the sides of the roads all over town.)

STRAWBERRIES AND CREAM CHEESECAKE

1-1/2 Pounds hulled strawberries (leave whole)

3 Tablespoons light corn syrup  (I used a simple syrup – I don’t like corn syrup but if you don’t have time to make simple syrup use corn syrup)

Crust

3 Tablespoons sugar

3 Tablespoons butter, melted

1-1/2 Cups finely ground graham crackers

Cheesecake Base

1 Cup sugar

36 oz cream cheese room temp (4-1/2 boxes)

1/4 teaspoon salt

3 large eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla

8 oz Mascarpone cheese (1 container)

1 Tablespoon lemon juice (optional if you want some tartness if mix is too sweet but acid always balances flavors in fruit desserts)

For Strawberries:  Pre-heat oven to 300 F and place strawberries in a single layer on a baking sheet.  Drizzle with syrup and gently coat them.  Bake for 1 hour 30 minutes.  Transfer to a bowl and mash them with potato masher.  Let cool completely.

For Crust:  Raise oven temperature to 350.  stir graham crackers,  3T sugar and melted butter together and press mixture into the bottom of 9 inch springform pan to make an even layer.  Bake crust for 10 minutes and transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.  (I put mine in the frig after a few minutes to finish the cooling process)

For Cheesecake:  Reduce oven to 325.  Put softened cream cheese into bowl of electric mixer with paddle attachment and mix on med/low speed until creamy – about 2 to 3 minutes.  Scrape down the sides and start to add the sugar slowly, then salt and mix for another 2 minutes.  Scrape down the sides again and add one egg at a time mixing well after each.  Add the vanilla and marscapone and mix until creamy and no lumps remain, about 3 minutes.

Transfer about 1-2 cups of the mixture to a separate bowl so that you can use it for the topping.  Take the mashed strawberries and add it to the mixing bowl with the larger portion of cream cheese mixture and blend well.  Pour the strawberry mixture on top of completely cooled graham cracker crust and smooth out until it is even.  Then place dollops of plain cream cheese mixture on top evenly spaced so you can spread it easily to the edges.

Wrap the exterior of springform pan in 2 layers of foil and set in a large flat bottomed, oven proof container.  Place in oven on middle shelf and fill carefully with boiling water about 1/3 the way up pan being careful not to go over the foil.  Bake until set, about 1 hour and 10-15 minutes.  Remove from waterbath and cool completey on wire rack.  Refrigerate until cold, at least 6 hours up to overnight.  I made mine the day ahead just to be on the safe side.  Serve with strawberry sauce.  Enjoy!

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1 Comment

  1. Fun As We GO said,

    September 28, 2010 at 1:05 am

    You have me drooling and wanting Cheesecake NOW! I can’t wait to try this recipe!


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