My oven and I are officially best friends. We allow each other to make mistakes, judging slightly, and are still around to bail each other out when things get out of hand.
So when I optimistically swirl fresh strawberry puree on top of the creamiest cheesecake filling, expecting it to retain its beautiful mosaic-ness, my oven just goes ‘HA!’ and destroys it.
But. It does make up for the science-fictiony top by baking the softest, lightest, bestest cheesecake I’ve ever made. It would have made any New York Baked Cheesecake very, very proud.
Remember the gorgeous cheesecake Rachel and Chandler wolf down? Making you want a huge slice NOW NOW NOW? This is the cheesecake. That episode will never make you want to cry again.
This cheesecake was meant to be a strawberry version of this classic where I saw a comment saying fresh strawberry puree would do the trick. But did I want a pinkish cheesecake? Nope. I wanted a snow white filling on a buttery biscuit base, topped with strawberries that were not just a garnish, but part of the actual cheesecake. OM NOM NOM.
So that’s what I did. Save for the swirl that looked like anything but a swirl, the topping was delish. Bursting with strawberry flavour to complement that perfect cream cheese wondrousness. Oddly, it didn’t burn or anything. Once again, thank you oven.
I used hung curd instead of sour cream and lemon juice instead of zest. Digestive biscuits instead of graham crackers. Did all that work? Yes, yes and yes.
The thing I LOVE about making cheesecake, is how quickly it comes together. All the ingredients in one food processor and whizzzz. What I really don’t like is waiting for it to get done baking. This one took an hour and 15 minutes to wobble only slightly, and even then, that wobble wasn’t restricted to the center. Then there’s the cooling down period and the overnight refrigeration. All kinds of torture, if you ask me.
But it’s well worth it 🙂
I’m taking this cheesecake to the first anniversary of Fiesta Friday! A truly amazing platform to meet wonderful bloggers and ogle at some delicious food! Thank you to all the wonderful cooks at FF for introducing me to the party 🙂 Enjoy!
What you’ll need:
250 gms digestive biscuits, or any plain biscuits
100 gms butter, salted or unsalted, melted (The original recipe calls for 125 gms but I found some of it melting right out on to the baking tray. Digestive biscuits tends to be softer and probably don’t hold the butter in as well.)
400 gms plain curd (the packaged kind is best here, since it tends to be thicker than the homemade variety; my favourite is Mother Dairy)
3 packs Britannia Cream Cheese (540 gms total)
3/4 cup sugar
2 tsps lemon juice
2 tsps vanilla
8 to 10 strawberries
What to do:
1. Hang the curd in a muslin or cheese cloth for at least 4 hours, allowing the water to drain out, making a great substitute for sour cream.
2. In a food processor, blitz the biscuits till they resemble breadcrumbs. Add the melted butter and process again, till mixture comes together.
3. In a greased 20 or 22 cm springform tin, press the biscuit-butter mixture on the base and up the sides, forming the crust. Chill for 30 minutes.
4. Preheat the oven to 160 C. Remove the stems and leaves from the strawberries, slicing off the top if needed. Chop the berries up roughly, and blend to form a puree. Refrigerate while you get the filling ready.
5. Clean out any biscuit crumbs from the food processor and blend the cream cheese, hung curd, sugar, vanilla and lemon juice till smooth and creamy. Add the eggs, one by one, beating after each addition.
6. Pour this mixture on top of the chilled crust. Spoon by spoon, pour the strawberry puree on the filling, spreading it around slowly. Don’t worry about some swirly effects.
7. Bake for 1 hour and then a further 15 minutes if needed. The top of the cheesecake should wobble slightly, when ready. This wobble need not be restricted only to the center, but shouldn’t be right up to the edges either.
8. Allow to cool for at least 1 hour and then refrigerate for a few hours, preferably overnight.
9. Before serving, let the cheesecake breathe at room temperature for about 10 minutes.
Slice and be amazed 🙂