We often put strawberries on top of our cheesecakes. With this recipe, we blend the strawberries into the filling, put strawberries on the cheesecake, and then top it all with whipped cream—sort of like a decadent strawberry shortcake. Maybe because it reminds of us a strawberry shortcake, we think of this as a springtime dessert but it is great for any season.
For the crust
- 2 cups crushed graham crackers
- 4 tablespoons sugar
- 5 tablespoons butter, melted
For the filling
- 3 8-ounce packages of cream cheese, softened
- 4 large eggs
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 3 tablespoons flour
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoons vanilla
- 1 cup strawberry puree, strained to remove the seeds
- 2 drops red food coloring
- 1/2 teaspoon strawberry flavor
- whipping cream for topping
- fresh strawberries
- Crush the graham crackers. Mix the crumbs with the sugar and melted butter in a nine or ten-inch springform pan. Press the mixture into a crust across the bottom of the pan and up the sides. Put the crust in the refrigerator to set up while you prepare the filling.
- Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Mix the cream cheese with the paddle attachment of your stand-type mixer set at medium speed until smooth and creamy, about five minutes. Add the eggs, granulated sugar, flour, salt, and vanilla, and gently cream together until smooth. Do not over beat. Too much air in the filling will cause the cake to sink and crack.
- Fold the strawberry puree, coloring, and flavor into the filling. Spread the filling on the crust.
- Bake for 40 to 50 minutes or until the top starts to turn golden and the center of the cake is just slightly jiggly. Because it is not as thick, a ten-inch cheesecake will bake more quickly than a nine.
- Let the cheesecake cool in the pan on a wire rack for ten minutes. Run a knife around the edge of the pan to loosen. Remove the ring and let the cheesecake cool completely. Refrigerate for several hours.
- Top with whipped cream and fresh strawberries to serve.