Strawberry Swirl Cheesecake
I love this simple recipe for cheesecake. You don’t have to bake the crust ahead of time, and all the ingredients for the filling are prepared by mixing in one bowl. So easy and quick. Here is the one I made for my son’s eleventh birthday this weekend! Cheesecake as birthday cake!
- 1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs (or plain petit beurre biscuits, gingersnaps, or chocolate biscuits, as you wish)
- 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/3 cup unsalted butter, melted
- 1/4 tsp black pepper (optional)
- 4 (8 oz.) packages cream cheese (900g), softened and at room temperature
- 1 1/4 cups sugar
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- Zest of one large lemon
- 2 Tbsp lemon juice
- 5 large eggs
For the strawberry coulis:
- 1/2 jar strawberry jam
- 1 cup fresh strawberries
- 1 Tbps lemon juice
- Fresh strawberries to garnish
Preheat oven to 325°F/160°C. Prepare a 9-inch springform pan by cutting a piece of parchment paper to fit exactly the bottom of the pan and lightly grease the sides. Greasing the sides will help the cheesecake to not stick and therefore will help to prevent cracking. The parchment paper will help to remove the cheesecake from the pan before serving.
Make the crust: Mix the graham cracker crumbs and cinnamon; add the butter. I do this all in a food processor by first making the crumbs, then adding the cinnamon and black pepper, and then the butter last. Press the crust onto the bottom of the springform pan lined with parchment. Wrap a double layer of preferably heavy duty aluminum foil around the bottom of pan (see pictures above) and freeze until the filling is prepared. The aluminum needs to wrapped very well so that water does not get into the cake!
- Make the filling: Using an electric mixer, mix the cream cheese, sugar, sour cream, vanilla, lemon zest, and lemon juice. Blend until smooth and creamy. Add the eggs to the cream cheese mixture and whisk gently until just blended. Make sure the eggs are well incorporated, but do not over mix as this will cause air bubbles to form which will then cause the cheesecake to crack during baking.
- Remove the crust from freezer and pour in filling. Set aside while you prepare the coulis.
- For the coulis: In a blender, mix all the ingredients until you have a thick sauce. Gently pour 5-6 Tbsp of the coulis on top of the cheesecake filling and swirl carefully with a knife, being careful not to over-mix. Refrigerate the remainder of the coulis to serve with the cheesecake later.
- Carefully place the springform pan into a large pan filled with 1/2 inch water and place in the oven. Bake for about 50 to 60 minutes, until the edges have set and the center is a bit wobbly still. You want cheesecake to cook slowly at a low temperature, as this will also prevent cracking. And don’t overcook!
- When done, remove the cake from the oven to a wire rack to cool. Let it sit for about 5 minutes, then with a small knife, loosen the cake from the edges. Cheesecake will shrink as it cools and if it sticks to the sides, you get those cracks again! Let the cheesecake cool completely before covering and placing in the refrigerator overnight. Garnish with fresh strawberries and the strawberry coulis to serve.
In Turkey, I substitute Labne for cream cheese and Suzme Yogurt for sour cream. It comes out perfectly — creamy and oh so delicious.