Strawberry Cheesecake

Baking is not one of my specialties. I hardly ever bake cookies, cupcakes, or anything sweet. It might have to do with the fact that when I cook, I throw a bit of everything in, usually without measuring. When it comes to baking, it’s necessary to measure. Too much sugar or too little baking powder can result in an unsatisfied baked good.

However, once a blue moon, I find myself in a baking mood. Here’s a recipe for a strawberry cheesecake that I’ve made a couple of times on occasion. This cheesecake is lighter compared to the traditional cheesecake. I think it’s because of the addition of lemon juice. You can top the cake with fresh strawberries, and you have a dessert perfect for a beautiful spring day.

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Ingredients:
1 1/4 cups graham cracker crumbs
1/4 cup sugar
1/3 cup butter, melted
2 (10 ounce) packages frozen strawberries, thawed
1 tablespoon cornstarch
2 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
3/4 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
1/4 cup lemon juice
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 eggs

Directions:
1. Combine graham cracker crumbs, sugar and butter. Press onto the bottom of an 9 inch springform pan. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
2. In a blender or food processor, combine strawberries and cornstarch. Cover and process until smooth. Pour into a saucepan, and boil and stir for 2 minutes. Set aside 1/3 cup strawberry sauce and cool. Cover and refrigerate remaining sauce for serving.
3. In a mixing bowl, beat cream cheese until light and fluffy. Gradually beat in condensed milk, vanilla extract, and lemon juice. Add eggs and beat on low just until combined.
4. Pour half of the cream cheese mixture over crust. Drop half of the reserved strawberry mixture by 1/2 teaspoonfuls onto cream cheese layer. Carefully spoon remaining cream cheese mixture over sauce. Drop remaining strawberry sauce by 1/2 teaspoonfuls on top. With a knife, cut through top layer only to swirl strawberry sauce.
5. Bake at 300 degrees F for 45-50 minutes or until center is almost set. Cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Carefully run a knife around edge of pan to loosen and cool 1 hour longer.
6. Refrigerate overnight. Remove side of pan. Serve strawberry sauce with cheesecake. Store in the refrigerator.

12 servings