CakeSpy Note: This is a guest post from The Rice Kernel. Named for a little boy who came along and transformed one family's kitchen experiences, Rice Kernel features wholesome, homemade recipes to help you achieve a "rainbow a day" of colorful and nutritious foods. For the sweets lover, Rice Kernel's "rainbow" includes plenty of indulgences, often made over with healthful ingredients. This triple strawberry cheesecake is the perfect collaboration of creamy, decadent cheese and fresh, tart summer berries. The recipe originally appeared as part of this post.
This is a strawberry cheesecake. Not a plain cheesecake topped with strawberries. And not a plain cheesecake with a swirl of strawberry puree. Fresh strawberries are infused throughout this cheesecake – in the base, with an extra swirl of fresh puree, and with sliced fruit perched atop the lovely pink cake. (For serious strawberry afficionados, consider making extra puree or strawberry coulis to drizzle atop the cheesecake.) I’m crazy about this cake. So crazy Rice Kernel and I had to eat some warm from the oven. (In case you’re curious, it’s warm and mousse-like.) Tall, light, creamy, and full of freshness, it will make any strawberry lover swoon.
Strawberry Cheesecake, adapted from Dorie Greenspan’s Tall and Creamy Cheesecake from Baking: From my Home to Yours (via The Way the Cookie Crumbles)
1½ cups graham crackers
2 tablespoons sugar
pinch of salt
3 tablespoons unsalted butter or Earth Balance, melted
4 (8-ounce) packages reduced fat cream cheese or Neufchatel, at room temperature
1⅓ cups sugar
½ teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
4 large eggs, at room temperature
1 cup strawberry puree, divided
- Place washed and hulled strawberries in a blender (about 1½ cups whole) and puree until smooth. Place through a fine sieve to remove seeds.
- For the crust: Spray the bottom of a springform pan with nonstick spray. Either grind the graham crackers with a food processor or place them in a ziptop bag and crush with a rolling pin. Add sugar, salt, and butter to the crumbs and stir until evenly mixed. Press the crumbs into an even layer covering the bottom of the prepared pan. Put the pan in the freezer for 30 minutes.
- Meanwhile, heat the oven to 350 degrees F. Bake the crust for 7-10 minutes, until fragrant. Let cool on a wire rack, then wrap the bottom of the pan in foil. Reduce the oven temperature to 325 degrees F. Bring a pot of water to a boil.
- For the cheesecake: With a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or with a hand mixer), beat the cream cheese at medium-low speed until smooth. Add the sugar and salt; continue mixing for about 2 minutes, until the mixture is light and creamy. Add the vanilla, then the eggs one a time, mixing just until each one is incorporated. Mix in ½ cup of the strawberry puree.
- Pour the batter onto the cooled crust. Spoon the remaining strawberry puree over the batter and use a butter knife to gently swirl it. Place the wrapped springform pan into roasting pan; pour the hot water into the roasting pan.
- Bake the cheesecake for 1 hour and 30 minutes. Turn off the oven’s heat and prop the oven door open with a wooden spoon; let the cheesecake set in the water bath for another hour. Remove the cheesecake from the hot water and let it come to room temperature on a cooling rack. When the cake is cool, cover the top lightly and chill the cake for at least 4 hours.
2 cups quartered hulled strawberries (about 12 ounces)
1/4 cup water
3 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
- Combine strawberries, water, sugar and lemon juice in blender. Purée until very smooth.
- Press through a fine mesh strainer to remove the seeds.
- Cover and refrigerate until cold.