Sunday, May 20, 2012

Cheesecake with Strawberries

Continuing with desserts that complement strawberries, I found the perfect cheesecake recipe, also from Epicurious. It's the Three Cities of Spain Cheesecake, which is light and creamy, unlike the dense New York-style cheesecake. In order to make this dessert portable, I made minis by baking them off in muffin tins with cupcake liners. Read on to learn how to make this version.

Three Cities of Spain Cheesecake
Makes 8 to 10 servings
Active Time: 30 min
Total Time: 9 1/2 hr

For crumb-crust:
1 1/2 cups (5 oz) finely ground graham crackers or cookies such as chocolate or vanilla wafers or gingersnaps
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted (add more, if too dry)
1/3 cup sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
For filling:
3 (8-oz) packages cream cheese, softened
4 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 3/4 cup sugar

For topping:
16 oz sour cream
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
fresh strawberries, halved lengthwise

1) Preheat oven to 350°F.

Make crumb crust:
2) Stir together crust ingredients and press a heaping teaspoon onto bottom of muffin tin cups and 1 inch up side of a buttered 24-centimeter springform pan. Fill right away or chill up to 2 hours.

Make filling and bake cake:
3) Beat cream cheese with an electric mixer until fluffy and add eggs, 1 at a time, then vanilla and sugar, beating on low speed until each ingredient is incorporated and scraping down bowl between additions.

4) Put springform pan with crust in a shallow baking pan. Pour filling into crust and bake in baking pan (to catch drips) in middle of oven 45 20-30 minutes, or until tops begin to crack cake is set 3 inches from edge but center is still slightly wobbly when pan is gently shaken. 

5) Let stand in baking pan on a rack 5 minutes. Leave oven on.

Make topping:
6) Stir together sour cream, sugar, and vanilla. 

7) Drop spoonfuls of topping around edge of onto cake and spread gently over center, smoothing evenly. 

8) Bake cake with topping 10 minutes.

9) Run a knife around top edge of cake to loosen and cool completely in springform pan on rack. (Cake will continue to set as it cools.) Chill cake, loosely covered, at least 6 hours. Remove side from pan and transfer cake to a plate. 

10) Top cheesecake minis with strawberries.

11) Bring to room temperature before serving.

*Cooks' note: Cheesecake keeps, covered and chilled, 3 days.

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