Recipe by Mareesme
This cheesecake is so beautiful to look at we almost hated to cut into it! I'm glad we did, because it's the all-time best strawberry cheesecake we've ever tasted! I now use the crust ingredients for many other desserts requiring graham cracker crusts. It is somewhat time-consuming, but is well worth the effort. Many times I do the crust and filling steps one day and the glaze/strawberry decorating the next. (I prefer lemon juice in the glaze or 1/2 lemon juice and 1/2 Grand Marnier rather than the full 3 T of Grand Marnier, but use your own taste as judgment!) It must be chilled thoroughly before serving. (Tweaked from a Taste of Home recipe...) JULY 2011, NOTE: I very rarely make the glaze topping anymore. I'd like to be virtuous and say I'm trying to reduce sugar content, but it's mainly because I usually am short of time or lazy. I make and chill the cheesecake, then cut stems off strawberries and prettily arrange them pointy-side up on the top before serving. The cheesecake is still as beautiful and SOOO good, so you decide which way you want to go.
- 1⁄2 cup ground pecans or 1⁄2 cup ground walnuts
- 1 cup graham cracker crumbs
- 3 tablespoons butter, melted
- 32 ounces cream cheese
- 4 eggs
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- 2 cups sour cream
- 1⁄4 cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 pint strawberry, stems removed
- 1⁄4 cup water
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 1 (12 ounce) jar strawberry jelly or 1 (12 ounce) jarseedless preserves
- 3 tablespoons lemon juice or 3 tablespoons Grand Marnier
Directions See How It's Made
- Soften cream cheese to room temperature.
- Preheat oven to 350 dg. Lightly grease (or spray with Pam) bottom and sides of a 10" springform pan.
- Mix together ground nuts and graham cracker crumbs. Add 3 T melted butter and mix with fork until crumbly. Press into bottom of springform pan and bake for 5 minutes in preheated oven. Remove and set aside.
- Place jellyroll pan with sides on bottom rack of oven and fill 1/2 full with warm water. Close door and continue heating.
- Put cream cheese, eggs, sugar, lemon juice and vanilla in mixing bowl. Beat thoroughly with electric mixer until smooth and pour over crust. Place baking pan on rack above water bath pan. Bake for 50 minutes or until filling is almost set. Remove from oven (do not turn oven off) and let stand for 15 minutes.
- Blend sour cream, sugar and vanilla with mixer and pour over cake. Bake for an additional 5 minutes. Remove from oven. If cheesecake is slightly jiggly, don't worry. It will firm up while refrigerated.
- Refrigerate at least 6 hours (I refrigerate overnight at this point and finish up the next day.).
- Remove cheesecake from springform pan (running knife around sides to prevent sticking) and put on serving platter.
- Arrange whole strawberries pointed side up evenly over top of cheesecake.
- Prepare glaze by mixing water and cornstarch over low heat in saucepan until well mixed, stirring constantly. Add jelly and heat, stirring constantly until jelly mixture melts and thickens. Remove from heat and stir in lemon juice or liqueur. Cool to room temperature.
- Spoon glaze over all until small amount drips down sides of cake. (Perhaps there may be slightly more glaze than needed, but it can be saved to heat and pour over ice cream another time.).
- Serve and enjoy!
- (NOTE: If you wish you could cook the cheesecake in a water bath to avoid cracking a bit on top. I don't, because the top is covered with the preserves and strawberries so it doesn't show anyway!).