Cheesecake?.. Could it be? Are you wondering if you are at the right website? The queen of quick and easy posting cheesecake! Has the Mad Batter really gone Mad? I used to be in fear of making a cheesecake. Afraid of lumps and cracks and springform pans. But I’m here to to tell you, a few little ingredients and one step at a time, and you will embark on a perfect classic cheesecake every time.
Cheesecake with Strawberry Topping
- Crust: 3 cups finely ground graham crackers about 40 squares
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1/2 cup butter melted
- 2 (8-ounce) blocks cream cheese room temperature
- 1 cup sugar
- 3 eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 lemon zest finely grated
- 1 pint sour cream
- Strawberry Topping
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup water
- 1 pint strawberries
For crumb crust: In a medium mixing bowl, combine all the crust ingredients and mix with with a fork until evenly moistened. Lightly coat the bottom and sides of a 9-inch springform pan with cooking spray. Press the crust mixture over the bottom and up the sides on the pan. To press the crust, use a smooth measuring cup or bottom of a glass. Refrigerate the crust while preparing the filling.
For filling: In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese on low speed for 1 minute just until smooth and free of any lumps. Gradually add the sugar and beat until creamy, 1 to 2 minutes. Periodically scrape down the sides of the bowl and the beaters. Add the eggs, 1 at a time, and continue to slowly beat until combined. Stir in the vanilla and lemon zest. Blend in the sour cream. The batter should be well mixed but not overbeaten. Pour filling into the crust-lined pan and smooth the top with a spatula.
Bake in a preheated 325 degree oven for 50-55 minutes. The cheesecake should still jiggle slightly, it will firm up after chilling. Be careful not to overcook! Loosen the cheesecake from the sides of the pan by running a thin metal spatula around the inside rim. Let cool in the pan for 30 minutes. Chill in the refrigerator, loosely covered, for at least 4 hours to set up. Demold and transfer to a cake plate. Slice the cheesecake with a thin, nonserrated knife that has been dipped in hot water and wiped dry after each cut.
For Strawberry Sauce: Place sugar and 1/4 cup water in a small saucepan over high heat; stir, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer until sugar is completely dissolved. Remove from heat, and allow the syrup to cool completely. Place half the berries in the jar of a blender; add the syrup. Puree until smooth; pass through a fine sieve or colander. Chop remaining berries; stir into strawberry puree. Serve (or store in an airtight container, refrigerated, for up to 3 days).
If your cheesecake cracks, don't stress. Many cheesecakes crack on the top. Just spread with your favorite topping (like this delicious strawberry topping) and you are good to go. Enjoy!