Tuesday, June 18, 2013

For the Love of Cheesecake

After watching an episode of Master Chef and drooling over the cheesecakes that were made, I knew I had to try it for myself. I've attempted to make cheesecake over the years, but it's just never quite hit the spot. After sampling The Cheesecake Factory's extensive list of yummy confections over time, I have all but given up on the idea of making anything as good at home. But alas, I was up for a challenge. I knew my recipe had to be easy and quick or it just wouldn't happen. I settled on a Philadelphia cream cheese recipe with strawberries, my hubby's favorite. Here is my recipe, try it for yourself!

1 cup graham cracker crumbs (made with one sleeve graham crackers.)
1/3 cup melted butter
3 tbs. sugar
4 packages cream cheese, softened to room temperature (very important!)
1 cup sugar
4 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
2 cups chopped strawberries, for top
1 cup chopped strawberries
1/2 cup sugar
2/3 cup water
1 tbs. corn starch plus 3 tbs. water

Combine crust ingredients and press mixture into a 9-inch spring form pan. Pre-heat oven to 325 degrees. Mix cheesecake ingredients, except strawberries, until smooth and pour into pan, baking for an hour. (It will set as it cools so don't worry if it seems under-cooked.) Meanwhile, combine one cup strawberries, sugar and water in small saucepan and bring to simmer, letting the mixture cook for ten minutes. Strain mixture through a sieve to remove seeds and pulp then return to pan.  Keep heat on low and add the cornstarch/water mixture and allow to come to a boil for about three minutes or until thickened. Let cool. When cheesecake is cooled, combine glaze with about two cups strawberries for top and chill overnight. This would be perfect for Fourth of July with a few blueberries thrown in...just sayin'...

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