Yield: 10-inch cheesecake
Graham Cracker Crust Ingredients:
2 Cups Graham Cracker Crumbs
1 Stick Unsalted Butter (melted)
½ Cup Sugar
1 pinch Cinnamon
Strawberry Cheesecake Filling Ingredients:
1lb Frozen Strawberries (thawed)
40oz Cream Cheese (at room temperature)
1¼ Cups Sugar
1T Lemon Juice
½t Vanilla Extract
¼ Cup Flour
1 Drop Red Food Coloring
¼ Cup Heavy Cream
For the graham cracker crust:
1. Preheat oven to 325°F.
2. Combine graham cracker crumbs, butter, sugar and cinnamon in a medium bowl. Stir until mixture is uniform and clumps together like wet sand.
3. Press mixture into the bottom and 1 inch up the sides of a 10-inch springform pan. Bake for 10 minutes, then cool completely before using.
For the strawberry cheesecake filling:
4. Preheat oven to 325°F.
5. Puree strawberries in a food processor. Set aside.
6. Combine cream cheese, sugar, lemon juice and vanilla extract in a large bowl. Beat with an electric mixer at low speed until combined, and then increase mixer speed to medium. Beat until batter is very smooth, about 5 minutes, scraping the sides of the bowl occasionally.
7. Sift the flour into the cream cheese mixture and beat until fully combined.
8. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until mixture is smooth. Slowly add reserved strawberry puree, red food coloring and heavy cream, and beat until mixture is completely combined.
9. Scrape the sides of the bowl to ensure the batter is mixed well. Pour batter into prepared crust, smoothing the top.
10. Bake until cheesecake is set, but still wobbles slightly, about 55 minutes to 1 hour. Cool in pan on a wire rack for 2 hours, then refrigerate overnight.
11. Dip a long, thin knife in hot water, and run it along the sides of the cheesecake to loosen it from the pan. Carefully remove the ring.
Cook’s Note: To create the miniature cheesecakes served at Enchanted Garden, prepare cheesecake according to the recipe, but instead of baking in a springform pan, make the cheesecakes in small cake rings, sold in specialty-foods stores. Reduce baking time by 15 minutes.