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World’s Greatest Strawberry Cheesecake

Tim Dineen

This really is the best! It’s a combination of  recipes from Lucille Brown, an old neighbor from 46th Avenue when I was a kid, a strawberry cheesecake recipe from Bon Appetit magazine from years ago, and a bit of my own imagination… This is actually better if allowed to sit in the refrigerator 2 to 3 days before eating. (Really!!)

The Crust:

  • 3/4 cups walnuts, coarsely ground
  • 3/4 cup graham cracker crumbs
  • 3 1/2 tbsp butter, melted

The Filling:

  • 4 pkgs cream cheese, room temperature
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup whipping cream

The Topping:

  • 16 oz sour cream
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

The Glaze:

  • 4 cups strawberries
  • 1 10 oz jar red raspberry jelly (or other red jelly)
  • 1/4 cup Cointreau or Grand Marinier
  • 1 1/2 tbsp cornstarch
  • 2 tbsp water

Putting it together: Preheat oven to 350º.  Mix crust ingredients and press evenly into bottom of 10″ springform pan.  Set aside.

Cream the cheese until light and fluffy.  Mix in eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Add sugar, vanilla, and whipping cream, mixing until smooth and light. Pour into pan and bake 60 – 70 minutes. Remove from oven and cool about 15 minutes.  Keep oven on.

Mix topping ingredients and spread onto top of cheesecake to within about 1/2 inch from edge.  Return to oven and bake about 7 more minutes.  Cool completely, cover, and refrigerate at least 24 hours (as I said, 2-3 days is best.)

On day you’re going to serve, make glaze.  Melt jar of jelly over low heat.  Add Cointreau.  Mix cornstarch with water and stir into mixture.  Cook until thickened.

Remove cake from pan.  Press graham cracker crumbs onto sides, if desired.

Arrange whole, hulled strawberries – with tips pointing up –  on top of cheesecake, covering the whole thing. Brush glaze on strawberries, allowing it to run down and pool on cake.

Refrigerate until ready to serve.

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