Monday, May 12, 2008

NEW YORK STYLE STRAWBERRY SWIRL CHEESECAKE



This cheesecake is an adaptation of a recipe I found on recipezaar.com. The baking temps are perfect, resulting in a creamy, smooth and solid cheesecake with no cracking and no browning on the top. The flavors of real vanilla bean mixed with True Lemon were great, and the strawberry puree was outstanding (left over glaze from the strawberry cream tart -- see previous post under pastries -- fruit tarts). This one is a keeper. (If you're not familiar with True Lemon, click this link: http://www.truelemon.com/.)

Strawberry Swirl Cheesecake
Rating: 9 out of 10
STRAWBERRY PUREE:
1/2 pt. strawberries
1/4 cup superfine sugar
1-1/2 Tbsp. cornstarch
2 Tbsp. water
1/4 tsp. almond extract
1 tsp. butter or Smart Balance

Wash, hull and cut strawberries; place in medium heavy saucepan, crushing them with a potato masher. Add remaining ingredients except butter and heat to boiling, stirring constantly. Cook for 1 minute or so, or till mixture is thickened. Remove from heat and strain through a sieve. Stir in butter. Cool thoroughly.

CRUST:
1-1/4 cups whole wheat flour
1/4 cup superfine sugar
1 tsp. grated lemon zest
1/2 cup cold unsalted butter
1/4 tsp. sea salt

Preheat oven to 325F. In work bowl of food processor, combine all ingredients. Pulse till combined, adding a tsp. or more of water, if needed, to bring dough together. Pat dough onto bottom and 1" up sides of a greased 8" springform pan. Place on a baking sheet. Bake
for 15-20 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool on a wire rack.

FILLING:
3 (8-oz.) pkgs. Neufchatel cheese, softened
1 cup superfine sugar
3 large eggs + 1 egg yolk, room temperature
3 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
1 tsp. vanilla beans scraped from 1 pod (or 1 tsp. vanilla)
1 packet True Lemon (or 1-1/2 tsp. fresh lemon juice)
3 Tbsp. lite sour cream

Increase oven heat to 400F. Cut 2 large circles of heavy duty aluminum foil and place the springform pan with the cooled crust inside. Wrap the foil around the sides of the pan, tucking in tightly. In workbowl of food processor, combine cheese, sugar and 1 egg. Pulse till well combined and creamy, about 1 minute, scraping sides and bottom. Add remaining eggs and yolk, one at a time, pulsing and scraping after each addition. Add remaining ingredients and pulse just till combined. Pour the batter evenly over the cooled crust. Using about 2/3 - 1 cup of cooled strawberry puree, spoon dollops over top of cheesecake. Using a knife or spatula, gently swirl the puree into the batter. Place the pan, wrapped in foil, in a large baking dish. Fill the baking dish with hot water halfway to the top of the cheesecake pan, and place in oven. Bake for 10 minutes. Without opening oven door, reduce heat to 250F. Bake for an additional 90 minutes, or till cheesecake is set. Transfer cake to wire rack to cool thoroughly, then refrigerate, covered, overnight. Yield: 12 servings

TO SERVE: 1. Spoon additional strawberry puree on plate and top with cheesecake slice.
2. Or, Place slice on plate; Squirt some Redi-Whip beside the slice. Place a whole strawberry in the Redi-Whip. Sprinkle shaved dark chocolate over all.

3 comments:

Talita said...

This last pic is enough to have my mouth water!

Bella said...

Funny thing, I just bought an old edition of cheesecake cookbook cuz I was thinking of baking more of these when the weather cools down a bit. The raspberry and blueberry versions also look superb!

Jackie said...

The strawberry swirls give the cheesecake its finish touch! What a great combination of ingredients.