Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Strawberry Cheesecake


Move over all you strawberry shortcakes! Here comes a strawberry cheesecake you'll never forget!

After getting my four wisdom teeth extracted, I could eat only soft foods. Unfortunately (and fortunately), the majority of the allowable food items were high in sugar and/or fat such as pudding, ice cream, and mashed potatoes. For some reason, I was craving healthier food items, so I supplied myself with plenty of baby food canisters of applesauce and pears since they are puréed more finely than the adult versions (you want to make sure you don't get food particles on your newly-revealed gums. I even had to avoid rice dishes until later).

Anyway, once my teeth had healed a bit, I was craving something delectable, so I made a cheesecake since it is soft and on the approved list. I added the strawberries on top, but if you decide to eat this a day or two after a tooth extraction, you must omit the fruit or make a coulis version (i.e., purée the strawberries and strain out the seeds) of it.
I used my go-to recipe for cheesecake. I will never stray from this recipe because it doesn't require sour cream or flour, two things I don't like to put in my cheesecakes. It is so smooth and amazing and never creates a crack (at least on my watch).

I also whipped some heavy cream, sugar, and vanilla extract and placed some on top of individual slices. I hope you make this soon. If you are out of strawberries, try this with cherries. That was how I was going to make it originally, but I remembered the strawberries I had frozen a few months ago. I also didn't feel like pitting cherries.

Don't be discouraged by the length of the recipe. Most of the time making this dessert involves the oven and refrigerator. Also, I always make half of the cheesecake recipe (and the full recipe for the crust) since I live alone. It is still more than enough. Enjoy!

Tall and Creamy Cheesecake
halved and adapted from Dorie Greenspan's Baking: From My Home to Yours and Serious Eats 

Crust:
1 3/4 - 2 cups graham cracker crumbs
3 tablespoons sugar
Pinch of salt (I always use kosher)
1/2 stick (4-5 Tbsp) unsalted butter, melted

Cheesecake:
1 lb (two 8-ounce boxes) cream cheese, at room temperature
1/2 cup + 2 Tbsp + 2 tsp granulated sugar
1/4 tsp salt (I always use kosher)
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1/2 cup + 2 Tbsp + 2 tsp heavy cream or sour cream, or a combination of the two
Make the crust:
  1. Butter a 9-inch springform pan - 2 3/4 inches high - and wrap the bottom of the pan in a double layer of aluminum foil; put the pan on a baking sheet.
  2. Stir the crumbs, sugar and salt together in a medium bowl. Pour over the melted butter and stir until all of the dry ingredients are uniformly moist. Turn the ingredients into the buttered springform pan and use your fingers to pat an even layer of crumbs along the bottom of the pan and about halfway up the sides. Don't worry if the sides are not perfectly even or if the crumbs reach above or below the midway mark on the sides—this doesn't have to be a precision job. Put the pan in the freezer while you preheat the oven.
  3. Center a rack in the oven, preheat the oven to 350°F and place the springform on a baking sheet. Bake for 10 minutes. Set the crust aside to cool on a rack while you make the cheesecake.
  4. Reduce the oven temperature to 325°F.
To make the cheesecake:

  1. Put a kettle or large pot of water on to boil.
  2. Working in a stand mixer, preferably fitted with a paddle attachment, or with a hand mixer in a large bowl, beat the cream cheese at medium speed until it is soft and lives up to the creamy part of its name, about 4 minutes. With the mixer running, add the sugar and salt and continue to beat another 4 minutes or so, until the cream cheese is light. Beat in the vanilla. Add the eggs one by one, beating for a full minute after each addition—you want a well-aerated batter. Reduce the mixer speed to low and stir in the sour cream and/or heavy cream.
  3. Put the foil-wrapped springform pan in the roaster pan.
  4. Give the batter a few stirs with a rubber spatula, just to make sure that nothing has been left unmixed at the bottom of the bowl, and scrape the batter into the springform pan. The batter will reach the brim of the pan. (If you have a pan with lower sides and have leftover batter, you can bake the batter in a buttered ramekin or small soufflé mold.) Put the roasting pan in the oven and pour enough boiling water into the roaster to come halfway up the sides of the springform pan.
  5. Bake the cheesecake for 1 hour and 30 minutes, at which point the top will be browned (and perhaps cracked) and may have risen just a little above the rim of the pan. Turn off the oven's heat and prop the oven door open with a wooden spoon. Allow the cheesecake to luxuriate in its water bath for another hour.
  6. After an hour, carefully pull the setup out of the oven, lift the springform pan out of the roaster, and remove the foil carefully. Allow the cheesecake come to room temperature on a cooling rack.
  7. When the cake is cool, cover the top lightly, and chill the cake for at least 4 hours or overnight.
  8. Remove the sides of the springform pan, and set the cake, still on the pan's base, on a serving platter. The easiest way to cut cheesecake is to use a long, thin knife that has been run under hot water and lightly wiped. Keep warming the knife as you cut slices of the cake.
Strawberry Topping

1 pint of strawberries, cut and hulled
1-2 Tbsp cornstarch, if you want it to be thicker
1/4 cup or less of sugar, depending on how sweet your berries are
half of a lemon

In a medium saucepan, boil all of the ingredients until thick. Pour the mixture on top of the chilled cheesecake. [If making a coulis, omit the cornstarch. Pour the cooked ingredients into a blender and puree or use an immersion blender until smooth. Then, drain the mixture with a strainer.]
    To store: Wrapped well, the cake will keep for up to 1 week in the refrigerator or for up to 2 months in the freezer. It's best to defrost the still-wrapped cheesecake overnight in the refrigerator.

    HAPPY BIRTHDAY, MOM!!!! ¡¡¡¡FELIZ CUMPLEAÑOS, MAMÁ!!!! FELIZ ANIVERSÁRIO, MÃE!!!! BUON COMPLEANNO, MAMMA!!!! BON ANNIVERSAIRE, MAMAN!!!! 생일축하합니다, 어머니^^!!!!  
    (Wow! I typed in Korean instead of copying and pasting. I hope I wrote it right.)

    36 comments:

    1. Looks yummy! I think I have forgotten those days of extracted wisdom teeth for a good reason. Good idea to take care of them!

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    2. Se ve realmente deliciosa. La combinación de fresas y queso tiene que ser exquisita. Un saludo

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    3. Thank you, Memoria, for the many wishes of Happy Birthday!!!!!!! (I told you that you speak seven languages; now do you believe me? :o)

      You are still my favorite daughter, and not because you're my only daughter! I think your strawberry cheesecake is lovely and delicious looking! My only wish is to be there sitting at the table with you--a fork in one hand, a big slice of this cake on one of your pretty plates and my feet happily swinging under the table!

      Take care, my loved one, and thank you again for your birthday wishes! I will see you soon!

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    4. Happy birthday to your momma!

      This cheesecake looks delicious. I'd gladly eat one of these over a shortcake ANY day, no whipped cream required. But Mr. H is not much of a cheesecake fan so I don't usually make it unless it contains chocolate. Maybe i could quarter the recipe and bake it in the mini pans we bought together (that I have yet to use!)

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    5. gorgeous! what a great use of strawberries. I wish I have this to eat when I had my wisdom tooth surgery hehe

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    6. Oh... this looks so good. I love cheesecake and I love strawberries!!!

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    7. Le tue torte sono tutte bellissime!! Volevo anche farti gli auguri per i denti...un saluto dall'Italia

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    8. Su pastel de queso se ve fabulosa. What a great reason to eat cheesecake. This is my favorite cheesecake recipe too. Me alegro de que se sienta mejor.

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    9. What a lovely cheesecake! It looks luscious and delicious...and so wrong to eat for a whole meal, but probably so necessary!!! Just made a strawberry sauce last nite -- the organic strawberries at WF are on sale and absolutely perfect right now, by the way... Feel better soon!

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    10. Strawberry cheesecake is a million times better than shortcake. Love this!

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    11. This is my all-time favorite cheesecake recipe!!! Your strawberry version looks to die for!!!

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    12. Cheesecakes are my weakness, and I LOVE how this one is covered in strawberries. YUM.

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    13. Utterly scrumptious. Strawberries rule my world. :) Petra

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    14. Your cheesecake looks perfect! I just bought some fresh, local strawberries too...perfect timing. ;)

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    15. WOW!! I just made strawberry cheesecake today!! Looks similar to this!!
      Would you mind checking out my blog? :D http://ajscookingsecrets.blogspot.com/

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    16. That is one beautiful cheesecake!! I hope you are feeling better!

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    17. Hi Memoria,
      Yes, that is indeed one beautiful cheesecake, as the previous commenter remarked! I love your use of cream in the cake, versus sour cream. Very interesting recipe. I remember what it was like in immediate aftermath of having wisdom teeth removed--not fun!! But indulging in such a nice food could really make it a little more bearable. Lovely photos!
      :) Jane

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    18. Who needs strawberry shortcake when you can have this! I agree...there's no room for sour cream or flour in cheesecakes. Heavy cream all the way. (Then eat two bites and give the rest away...lol)

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    19. I always like graham cracker crust too, much more flavorful to me! Beautiful cheesecake!

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    20. I made this the other night for my twin boys and they simply love it. They call it the bleeding cheesecake, lol! Well, those two really have a wild imagination. Personally, I find it really light, maybe the strawberries sort of calm down the creaminess, so it didn't turn out to be too heavy. We'll be making this again pretty soon! Thanks for sharing this!

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    21. Marvelous! Can I have a slice of this droolworthy cheesecake please?

      Cheers,

      Rosa

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    22. Oh my goodness is that just GORGEOUS!! Thanks for stopping by to visit my blog today - I'll definitely be back for a visit here! Have a wonderful day.

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    23. Oh, my.....this is one gorgeous looking cheesecake!!! Beautiful summer treat!!!

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    24. Wow...this cheesecake is beautiful. Cheesecake is my Dad's absolute favorite dessert. I wish I was with him this weekend so I could make this for him. Beautiful!

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    25. I love your site - I made your cinnamon rolls just last night for my husband who is at my mercy when I make this for him... :D

      Your Korean looks right ~ I was ten when I came to US but I'm pretty sure... Good Job!

      Kellie C.

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    26. Hi Memoria! I'm glad your teeth are feeling better so you can eat things like cheesecake again. This really does look like a fantastic recipe. I love that it doesn't require sour cream.

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    27. Oh, Meoria, nothing worse than having wisom teeth removed. I had three removed oe year ago, but, for some reason, it wasn't awful. I think the pain in each tooth (the nerves were exposed from grinding) was much worse, and it was a relief to have them out!!

      That said..that is the most drool worthy strawberry cheesecake! If I hadn't had some last night, I would make that right now! (Cheesecake is a once a month thing for me lol)

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    28. Dizer que seu cheesecake está lindo ainda seria pouco. Me deixou com muita "fome de sobremesa" agora. Querida, seu blog é um dos meus favoritos! Gostaria de ver mais sobre cozinha mexicana! Beijo, e parabéns!

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    29. Looks gorgeous and sooo delicious. I make almost the same cake, but with Ricotta cheese, instead of cream cheese.
      Best regards

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    30. Does that look divine or what! beautifully done.

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    31. Thank you all for the kind comments. This cheesecake is truly fantastic.

      Diego - Muito obrigada pelos comentários tão amáveis! Não se preocupe. Eu vou escrever mais sobre a cozinha mexicana muito pronto. Os pratos mexicanos são um dos meus favoritos. Eu também gostaria de fazer uns pratos brasileiros, portugueses e coreanos. Obrigada por visitar meu blog. Espero ver mais comentários de você muito pronto.

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    32. Happy Birthday, Mama de Memoria! :)

      Love cheesecake. I've heard many good things about these recipe. Thanks for sharing! :)

      Oh, hey....how BIG is whole recipe if the half recipe makes an 9inch?
      ~ingrid

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    33. Splendido dolce e bellissimo blog, complimenti!!!

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    34. Fabulous recipe! I have tried it out myself and it was so good. My wife loved it too. Thanks for sharing. It really went well with a hot cup of coffee made from my one cup coffee maker at home. Kudos!

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