SARAH’S STRAWBERRY CHEESECAKE
For the Crust:
- 16 whole graham crackers
- 6 tablespoons melted butter
- 2 eight-ounce packages of cream cheese, at room temperature
- ⅔ cup granulated sugar
- ⅓ cup milk
- 2 eggs
- ½ cup sour cream
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Zest of 1 lemon
- 2 tablespoons all purpose flour
- ¼ cup strawberry jam
- ⅓ cup water
- ⅓ cup granulated sugar
- 1 ½ teaspoons cornstarch
- Juice of 1 lemon
- ½ pound strawberries, hulled and quartered lengthwise
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease a 9-inch springform pan and wrap the bottom in foil. You’re going to be putting the cheesecake in a water bath, and you don’t want the water to seep into the pan from the bottom.
- Break up the graham crackers into smaller pieces and put them in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse until they’ve turned into crumbs. Add the melted butter and process again until the mixture resembles wet sand. Press evenly into the bottom of the springform pan, packing the graham cracker crumbs down as tightly as you can.
- In the bowl of a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, add the cream cheese and mix on low speed until creamy. Add the sugar and mix on low speed until smooth. Blend in the milk on low speed as well. Add in the eggs one at a time, mixing just until incorporated. Then mix in the sour cream, vanilla, lemon zest, and flour. You don't want to over-mix or allow too much air into the mixture.
- Pour the filling into the prepared crust. Tap the pan against the counter a few times to get rid of any air bubbles, and place it in a rimmed baking sheet filled with 1 cm of water.
- Transfer the entire apparatus to the oven and bake for 30 minutes. Do not open the oven door! After 30 minutes has elapsed, turn the oven off, and let the cheesecake cool in oven with the door closed for 3 hours to prevent cracking. Chill in the refrigerator.
- Meanwhile, make the strawberry sauce. In a small saucepan, add the jam, water, and sugar. Bring to a simmer, stirring frequently. Simmer for 3 minutes, until the sugar is completely dissolved. (If you want your sauce really red, you can add in a couple drops of red food coloring.)
- Dissolve the cornstarch into the lemon juice, and pour it into the pot, whisking constantly. Simmer until the syrup is bubbly, but no longer foamy. Remove the syrup from the heat, and allow to cool. Stir in the strawberries.
- Serve the sliced cheesecake with the strawberry sauce spooned over the top.