Love is in the Kitchen — Ree’s Strawberry Cheesecake

As we approach Valentine’s Day, I have been reflecting on how my family loves to eat good home cooking and gather in the kitchen to smell the aroma of a fresh meal being prepared. The sound of laughter, pots and pans clanging, food tasters and yes, even a few critics in the kitchen who have been taught over the years that just adding a special ingredient of this and that can create a savory dish with a special twist. A favorite dish that I love to prepare around this time of the year is strawberry cheesecake.

The key to making good strawberry cheesecake is the time and love that you put into it. However, a good recipe would help. Here is my savory twist:

  • 1 1/2 cups graham crackers crumbs
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon grated nutmeg
  • 1/4 cup butter melted
  • 5 (8 oz.) packages cream cheese
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup whipping cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated lemon zest
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated orange zest
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 cups fresh strawberries
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon butter
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice


  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. In a medium mixing bowl, combine graham cracker crumbs with sugar, nutmeg and melted butter.
  3. Press crumbs into the bottom of springform pan.
  4. Bake at 475 degrees F. for 8 minutes; cool.
  1. Beat cream cheese until fluffy.
  2. Mix together sugar, flour and salt.
  3. Gradually add to cream cheese; beat until smooth.
  4. Add eggs one at a time.
  5. Add vanilla, lemon and orange zests.
  6. Stir in whipping cream.
  7. Cover the outside of springform pan with aluminum foil; shiny side out.
  8. Pour the cheesecake mixture into prepared crust.
  9. Place cheesecake in a water bath to prevent it from cracking.
  10. Bake for 15 minutes at 475 degrees, then reduce the temperature to 200 degrees and bake for 1 hour to 1 1/2 hours, or until cheesecake is set in the middle.
  11. Remove from the oven.
  12. Take cheesecake pan out of water bath, and set aside on cooling rack to cool completely. Remove aluminum foil.
  13. Release sides of springform pan and refrigerate for at least 4 hours to overnight before serving.
  1. In medium saucepan combine dry ingredients, mix well.
  2. Add strawberries and lemon juice.
  3. Cook until slightly thicken.
  4. Cool, spoon over cheesecake.
My twist:
  • Orange and lemon zest provides a tang.
  • When making a strawberry cheesecake, I use strawberry compound to swirl into the cheesecake batter!

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