Strawberry cheesecake is the perfect summer dessert with fresh or frozen strawberries. This basic cheesecake batter over graham cracker crust is baked in a water bath then topped with a delicious strawberry filling.
I am using an 8-inch round springform pan because I like a little height for my cheesecakes. This will also work with a 9-inch springform pan.
Preheat the oven at 160 C / 320 F.
Ensure all the ingredients are at room temperature, especially the cream cheese.
Heat the strawberries, sugar, lemon juice and 1/4 cup water over low heat until the sugar has melted
Combine remaining water with cornstarch.
Add to the strawberries. Continue to cook on low heat until the filling is thick and glossy.
Remove and cool completely
Pulse Graham crackers in a food processor.
Add sugar - combine well.
Then, add the melted butter - combine well.
Pour the crumbs in an 8-inch springform pan.
Bake in the preheated oven for 10 to 12 minutes
Wrap the outside of the springform pan with aluminum foil.
Cool to room temperature before pouring cheesecake batter.
Place the cream cheese in an electric mixer.
Add the sour cream - combine well.
Next, add the sugar - combine well.
Then, add the cornflour, lemon juice, salt, and vanilla - combine well.
Finally, add the beaten eggs - combine well.
Pour the cream cheese filling over the cooled crust in the springform pan. Tap the pan to help the batter settle.
Bake - water bath
Place the springform pan in a baking pan or roasting rack.
Pour 2 cups of hot water in the roasting rack outside the springform pan.
Bake for 70 to 80 minutes until set.
Remove from the oven - let cool at room temperature.
Use an offset spatula to loosen the sides of the pan.
Chill the cheesecake for at least 4 hours - preferably overnight.
You can pour the blueberry filling over the cheesecake before chilling it
Or serve the strawberry filling along with the cheesecake as I have done here.
Have all your ingredients ready at room temperature.
Preheat the oven to 150 C/ 300 F
Wrap the outside of your springform pan in foil so no water will enter the cheesecake while baking in a water bath.
Six tips when making cheesecakes
Temperature - Always have your ingredients at room temperature. If necessary delay it by a few minutes just so they thaw. You can thaw cream cheese in the microwave at 50% power for 10 secs at a time. Do not melt it as it does alter the taste. Place eggs in warm water to thaw – room temperature eggs mix well in the cheese batter and works best for consistency.
Quality - Use good quality high-fat cream cheese, like mascarpone Philadelphia as they are thicker in consistency as compared to low-fat cream cheese, which can affect the consistency of your baked batter.
Pans - Prepare your baking pans properly. Use a springform pan when baking a cheesecake. When baking in a water bath foil the outside of the pan to prevent water from getting into the cheesecake.
Mixing - Never over-mix a cheesecake batter as this will incorporate air and lead to cracking.
Crust - bake the cheesecake crust for 10 to 12 minutes before you add the cheesecake crust. This will prevent a soggy crust later.
Baking - Since cream cheese batter is similar to a custard, baking in a water bath helps keep the custard batter soft and supple rather than dry and spongy. This also prevents cracking.
Cooling - Run a knife around the edges of the cheesecake before you cool it. This will prevent the cake from cracking as it shrinks while cooling. Make sure to let the cake cool properly. This also helps the custard set and you will be able to make pretty, neat slices. Of course, a chilled cheesecake is also more delicious than a warm one.
Make-ahead - it is always best to make the cheesecake a day ahead of serving. This cheesecake can be made up to 3 days ahead. It will keep well in the fridge for 5 days. Alternatively, you can freeze this cheesecake for up to 3 months.
Water bath - A water bath is simply placing the cake pan in a large roasting pan. Then pour hot water in the roasting pan (outside the cake pan). The steam created by the water helps the custard-based cheesecake bake without cracking. Alternatively, you can place another large baking pan with water on the bottom of the oven if you don't have a large roasting pan or are afraid that springform pan may leak.