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Strawberry Cheesecake

This creamy strawberry cheesecake made from scratch is perfect for any special occasion! I made this for a get together and was a total hit. For this cheesecake, I used the recipe of the New York Cheese cake  I previously made and did a few additions that gave completely new recipe.

The batter is made with cream cheese, strawberry purée and a little lemon for a balance of sweet and tart.

Ingredients:

Makes 9 Single Serving

For the base:

9 Graham crackers, crushed. (If you need a thicker base, just a few more crackers)

1 tbsp butter, melted

The cake part:

2 (8  Ounce) packages of cream cheese, I used Philadelphia brand. “At room temperature”- Important!

3/4 cup of sugar

1/4 cup and 2 tbsp milk

2 eggs

1/2 cup of sour cream

1 and half tsp of vanilla extract

1/8 tsp of lemon zest (I used a microplane to take the zest of the lemon)

2 tbsp all-purpose flour

3/4 cup frozen and thawed strawberry purée

Method:

First Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C)

Like I mentioned in my earlier cheesecake post, The spring form pan is going to be your best friend through out the process. Cover the bottom (outside) of the pan with foil to avoid any water to get into it while the water bath process takes place. Grease the pan (I used a 9 inches diameter)

Crushing the Crackers: I used a mini food processor, if you don’t have one an easy way to crush them is to put them in a thick Zip-lock bag and using a rolling-pin smash it to crumbs

In a medium bowl: mix the crushed graham cracker with melted butter.

Transfer the butter-cracker mixture to the pan, spread and press to form an even layer.

Bake the crust for 8-10 minutes for them to form a base.

In a large bowl: Add the soft cream cheese and gently mix with sugar until smooth. Please note: Cream cheese should be in room temperature (soft) or else you will have to over beat for assuring there are no lumps and if you are going to over beat it, a lot of air is going to be filled in which will result in a cracked cake :(

In the other bowl: (the same bowl in which I mixed the butter and crackers) Blend the milk and one egg at a time, mix in sour cream, vanilla, lemon zest and flour (run flour through a sieve) until smooth.

Once the second bowl mixture is ready, add to the cream cheese and sugar. Set aside.

In the same bowl, add thawed strawberry and using a hand blender purée the strawberry. Use 3/4 cup of this purée.

Add the strawberry purée to the previously prepared cream cheese mixture and mix just enough to incorporate.

Pour the filling into the prepared crust.

Water Bath Process: Place the pan in another pan which has a minimum of 1 inch height and fill it with water. This also is going to prevent the cake from cracking as the moisture from the cake will not be absorbed but the water below it will become steam.

Bake in oven for 1 hour. Turn the oven off and let cake cool in oven with the door closed for 5 to 6 hours; this also prevents cracking.

Chill in refrigerator for some hours (preferable 6 hours)

Do not serve immediately from the fridge as it till be dense, leave it outside and serve creamy delicious strawberry cheesecake with chopped strawberry.

Next attempt: Would love to do a heavy strawberry topping with whole strawberries in a sauce.

Tips I followed last time, this time and probably follow every time:

Spring-form pans recommended.

GREASING.. if you grease the sides of your pan well, it will not crack, since cracking often happens in the cooling process as the cake pulls away from the sides.

OVER BEATING or OVER COOKING.. are going ruin your cake.

Run the flour through a sieve to avoid any lumps. If you are going to add them directly, especially if it’s from the fridge, they are going to form lumps. To remove lumps, you are going to end up over beating, which is bad for the cake!

Try not pouring the water in the second pan and taking it to the oven. There are high chances for it to get spilled or any unfortunate things like water spilled into the cake pan etc. Place the pan with mixture on the second pan, place it in the oven then pour water.

I have given instructions on every minute things just to avoid any disappointments, follow step by step to have a wonderful creamy cheesecake! You’ll love it, Trust me!

Happy Cooking

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