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