Monday, 2 July 2012

Strawberry Swirl Cheesecake


It feels like such a long time since I've blogged anything, even though it's only been a few days. I just got back from a fantastic long weekend away at my cottage, and I'm well-rested and happy.  I just wish it didn't have to end!

Even though the forecast for the whole weekend had been rain, it didn't rain a single time and was actually scorching hot and beautiful. Perfect weather for going to the beach, gardening, and giving the cottage a fresh coat of paint. And, knowing me, I also managed to find some time to get some baking done.



Since it was the Canada Day weekend, my mom suggested I make a strawberry cheesecake recipe that she had found, since it would be a good patriotic dessert. Plus, there is nothing better than making a dessert that incorporates some delicious, freshly picked PEI strawberries.

This recipe is SOOO much easier than the Lightened-Up Lemon Drop Cheesecake I made a little while ago, though they are both equally delicious. I'm more partial to strawberries, so I liked this one better, and I can say that everyone gobbled this cake down pretty quickly. A crowd favorite for sure!


This cake also fits in nicely with the theme I chose for this week. Since strawberries are in season now, and are very prominent in the grocery stores, I thought I would make a few different strawberry recipes for this week.

Strawberries are my favorite fruit by far, so I love getting the chance to use them in different recipes. Look for more strawberry recipe throughout the week!!

Happy Canada Day!!

Last Month: Pan-Fried Onion Dip

Strawberry Swirl Cheesecake
Bake Time: 1 hour      Chill Time: 4-6 hours, or overnight      Yields 16 servings
Ingredients:
THE CRUST
3 cups graham cracker crumbs
1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted

THE FILLING
3 pkgs cream cheese, softened
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 tsp vanilla
pinch salt
1 cup sour cream
1 tsp grated lemon zest
4 eggs, at room temp

THE STRAWBERRY SWIRL
1 cup strawberries, hulled and quartered
1 Tbsp granulated sugar
1 tsp lemon juice
2 tsps flour

THE TOPPING
2 cups strawberries, hulled an quartered
3 Tbsps granulated sugar
1 tsp lemon juice

Directions:
THE STRAWBERRY SWIRL
1) In a blender, puree strawberries, sugar, and lemon juice. Stir in flour and set aside.

THE CRUST
1) Preheat oven to 325 F. Lightly grease a 9-inch springform pan, set aside.
2) In a bowl, combine the graham cracker crumbs and the melted butter, stirring until all the crumbs are moistened. Press the crumbs into the bottom of the prepared springform pan. Center the pan in the middle of a sheet of heavy-duty tinfoil, pressing foil up the sides of the pan and scrunching to hold it in place.
3) Bake crust for 10 mins, or until it is set. Let cool. Reduce the oven to 300 F.

THE FILLING
1) In a large bowl, beat together the cream cheese, sugar, vanilla, and salt until creamy and smooth. Add the sour cream and lemon zest, beating until combined. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating only until just combined.
2) Measure out and set aside 1/2 cup of the filling. Pour the rest of the filling evenly over the crust. Gently tap the pan on the counter to release any trapped air bubbles.
3) Stir the 1/2 cup of filling with the strawberry swirl mixture until combined. Push spoonfuls of strawberry cream cheese mixture randomly and deeply throughout the batter. Once you have spooned all the strawberry mixture into the regular batter, use a thin knife to swirl the strawberry mixture with the regular batter, creating the marbled appearance.
4) Put the springform pan into a larger pan filled with enough water to reach one inch up the side of the springform pan. Bake the cheesecake for 60 minutes, or until the edges are set but the center jiggles slightly.
5) Remove cake from oven and immediately run a knife around the edges of the cake. Remove cake from water and let cool completely. Remove tin foil, and chill for 4-6 hours or overnight.

THE TOPPING
1) One hour before serving the cake, toss together strawberries, sugar, and lemon juice. Chill for an hour, or until cake is ready to be served. Serve on top of cake.


(Recipe adapted from Canadian Living)

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