I had asked some of my friends on social media the other day what kind of recipes they would like me to share on the blog and cheesecake was one of the few requested! I’m not much of a cheesecake fan myself, and I’ve actually never made one, so I was nervous and excited to try and pull this off.
Also a couple days ago, my aunt had come by with a pint of fresh “Poteet” strawberries that my grandpa had planted. I knew I was going to top them onto the cheesecake. I think I was more excited to eat the strawberries than the cheesecake honestly lol. If you’ve never had Poteet strawberries you are missing out. They are so sweet and juicy!!! In a couple of weeks, the city of Poteet throws a large festival called the Strawberry Festival, and it’s kind of a big deal around here. The food is the best part, you can find strawberry nachos, strawberry funnel cakes, margaritas, ice cream, wine, etc. just to name a few!
They don’t only have strawberry food items though, there’s also a lot of really really really good Mexican food, fried foods, turkey legs… omg I’m getting hungry thinking about it.
So like I said I knew I was going to top the cheesecake with these strawberries, but I didn’t know how. I was torn between making a sauce to go over it, like a classic strawberry cheesecake or by topping the fresh berries over the cake and drizzling chocolate over them. I went ahead and let my friends on Instagram decide. Thank you to everyone who voted and helped me decide which way it was going to go!
For the crust:
- 1 to 1 1/2 cup graham cracker crumbs - 1/2 tsp cinnamon - 6 tablespoons melted unsalted butter
For the cake:
- 4 eight oz packages of cream cheese (full fat) - 1 1/2 cup sugar - 1 tsp vanilla - lemon juice from half of a lemon - 3 tablespoons flour - 1/4 teaspoon salt - 4 eggs - 1 egg yolk - 1/4 cup heavy cream
For the topping
- 1 pint fresh strawberries - 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips - 1 tbs heavy cream
Set your oven to 350 degrees then start assembling the pie crust. Take a 9 or 10 inch springform pan and coat the inside with butter. In a food processor, pulse the graham cracker cookies till you make about 1 1/2 cup of crumbs. In a small-medium bowl mix in cookie crumbs with cinnamon. Pour in melted butter and combine with fingers. You should be able to form a soft clump if you squeeze the mixture with your hands. If your crumbs are too crumbly and won’t stick, add tad of water to the mixture until it starts to hold.
Pour the crumb mixture into the bottom of the springform pan. Take two fingers and pinch the crumbs down to the bottom of the pan until the crumbs form an even crust. Now take two pieces of foil and cover the bottom of the springform pan forming the foil up around the edges of the bowl, like pictured below, this is because later when we bake the cake, we submerge the pan in a water bath, and the foil is to protect from water seeping into the pan while it cooks. You will need a large baking dish that the springform pan can fit inside.
Cook the crust in the oven for 8-10 minutes.
While the crust is baking, take a medium size bowl and begin whipping the cream cheese in a mixer. Once the cream cheese is creamy in consistency, add the vanilla and lemon juice.
In a separate bowl combine the flour, sugar and salt. Slowly combine the dry ingredients into the cream cheese mixture. Next, add your eggs and egg yolk, one by one making sure that each egg is thoroughly integrated into the cream cheese mixture.
Now take the mixture and pour evenly into the pan. Take your springform pan and set into the baking dish. Next you will take a few cups of boiling water and pour into the large pan, about an inch of the way up to the springform pan. This method somewhat steams the cake while it bakes. Now, carefully place the baking dish into the oven and bake for about an hour (could go up to one half hour depending on your oven). I had to go an extra twenty minutes or so, giving the total baking time about 80 minutes.
You’ll know when the cake is done because the outer 2-3 inches of the cake will puff up and be firm. The inside circle of the cake will slightly wiggle like jello if you gently shake the pan, that is normal.
When your cake is done, turn off the heat and crack open the oven door slightly, and allow the cake to cool up to one hour in the oven.
After one hour, take a slender knife and make sure the outside of the cake isn’t sticking to the pan. That can cause the top layer of the cake to crackle. Allow to cool on a wire rack. Once the cake is completely cool, refrigerate for several hours.
Once cake has chilled in fridge at least 3-4 hours, it is ready to serve.
Before serving, cup up the pint of strawberries into slices. Arrange berries over the top of the cake. In a small microwavable bowl, heat the chocolate chips and cream. Drizzle chocolate all over the top of the berries. Slice your cake and it is ready to serve!