Strawberry Cheesecake

It’s official – strawberry season has arrived.  Every time I go to the store, I am immediately confronted with the giant display of gorgeous ruby red strawberries.  At the current prices, it’s pretty much impossible to resist, not to mention how much Andrew adores “brrries”.  I find myself continually inspired by these lovely berries and I have thought of hundreds of things I’d like to do with them.  First on my list was this strawberry cheesecake.  This recipe calls for frozen strawberries but I’m fairly confident you could use fresh.  After all, it seems silly not to when they are in season!

The cheesecake filling has just the right amount of strawberry flavor and a very light, airy texture which seems fitting for such a fresh spring dessert.  The ganache topping is of course delicious because, duh, it’s ganache.  The only thing I wasn’t nuts about (haha) was the almond crust.  There are a few reasons for this – 1. I still don’t really like nuts, 2. I believe there is a leak in my springform pan (grrrr) and 3. I should have pulsed the almonds more finely but I didn’t want to wake the sleeping child.  Despite these factors, I still think I would prefer this with a classic graham cracker crust and will definitely go that route next time.  However, everyone else who ate this really enjoyed the crust so I think it’s just me, the nut-hater, that is the problem.  This was just the perfect dessert to end our first cookout of the season.

Strawberry Cheesecake
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For the strawberry puree:
10 oz. frozen organic strawberries, thawed
2 tbsp. sugar
2 tsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice

For the almond crust:
2 cups whole raw almonds
3 tbsp. sugar
¼ tsp. salt
4 tbsp. unsalted butter, at room temperature

For the cheesecake filling:
16 oz. cream cheese, at room temperature
1 cup sugar
3 large eggs, at room temperature
1½ tsp. vanilla extract
¼ tsp. salt
12 oz. sour cream, at room temperature
2/3 cup strawberry puree

For the ganache:
4 oz. bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
4½ oz. heavy cream
½ of 1 large egg, beaten

To prepare the strawberry puree, set the thawed strawberries in a fine strainer set over a bowl to collect the excess juices.  Press down on the berries to extract as much juice as possible.  You should have about 4-6 oz. of juice.  Transfer the juice to a small sauce pan over medium-high heat and simmer to reduce to about 2 oz.  Mix in the sugar and stir to dissolve.  Blend in the lemon juice and the reserved solids.  Transfer the mixture to a blender or food processor and puree until smooth.  *(To use fresh strawberries, hull and slice the berries.  Toss the berries with the 2 tablespoons of sugar and set in the strainer placed over a bowl.  Let sit for 1-2 hours to extract the juices.  Press down on the berries to extract as much juice as possible.  Transfer the juice to a small sauce pan over medium-high heat and simmer to reduce to about 2 oz. Blend in the lemon juice and the reserved solids.  Transfer the mixture to a blender or food processor and puree until smooth.)

To prepare the almond crust, preheat the oven to 400˚F.  Place the almonds, sugar and salt in the bowl of a food processor.  Pulse until the nuts are finely ground.  Add in the butter and pulse until the mixture is evenly combined.  Transfer the mixture to a 9-inch springform pan and press into a uniform layer over the bottom and 2 inches up the sides of the pan.  Bake for 15 minutes, or until deep golden brown.  Set aside to cool.

Reduce the oven temperature to 350˚ F.  To make the cheesecake filling, combine the cream cheese and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment.  Beat on medium-high speed for 3 minutes, until smooth.  Beat in the eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition and scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.  Blend in the vanilla and salt.  Mix in the sour cream until well incorporated.  Blend in the strawberry puree.

Wrap the outside of the springform pan tightly in a double layer of aluminum foil.  Pour the batter into the crust.  Place the springform in a larger pan with a water bath.  Bake for 55 minutes.

Remove the cheesecake from the oven but maintain the oven temperature.  To make the ganache, place the chocolate in a small bowl.  Bring the cream to a boil in a small saucepan.  Pour the hot cream over the chopped chocolate and let stand 1-2 minutes.  Whisk until smooth.  Whisk in the egg.  Spread the ganache mixture over the still hot cheesecake, being careful not to pour it all in one place (the cheesecake is still delicate).  Smooth the top with an offset spatula if necessary.  Bake 12-15 minutes, until the ganache is set around the edges.

Remove from the oven and transfer to a wire cooling rack.  Cover with a large bowl inverted over the top to help cool slowly.  When it comes to room temperature, transfer to the refrigerator.  Chill at least 8 hours before unmolding from the springform (and be sure the ganache is completely set before covering with plastic wrap).   Transfer to a serving platter.  Slice with a thin knife run under hot water and wiped dry between slices.  Serve.

Source: adapted from Tartlette, originally from Jael and Dan Rattigan

55 Responses

  1. I love top of this cake! it`s absolutely awesome!

  2. The smell of the strawberries as you walk into the produce section…nothing like it!

  3. Oh my gosh, this is picture perfect!! It looks like wall art to me!

  4. Oh my, this looks DIVINE! I may have to have a go at making this myself soon…and suits me, as I love almond crust 🙂

  5. I just finished picking strawberries with my son and this looks like a great recipe to try ’em out. Thanks!

  6. Beautiful!!!

  7. This cake looks so good, especially with these cute fruits. Love it!

  8. Annie you blow me away every time. this looks gorgeous and delish. yet another bookmark, now I need to find the time and excuse to make this 😉

  9. Gorgeous! I’m canceling my weekend plans and making this!

  10. this looks spectacular! I am definitely trying this one out!

  11. This cake looks amazing. I love the presentation with the assortment of berries!

  12. Yum, this looks so good! Unfortunately my grocery store hasn’t had a good selection of strawberries yet 😦

  13. Oh my my… *drool*

  14. This looks both beautiful and delicious! Love the sound of the ganache topping – yum. Perfect with those berries

  15. Bookmarked. Lovely photo. Thank you.

  16. that is one GORGEOUS looking cheesecake my dear!

  17. YUM! I’ll have to make this soon 🙂 I Loveeee strawberries 🙂 🙂


  18. Looks amazing as always. 🙂 What an impressive dessert! The egg in the ganache is very different than what you might normally see in a recipe.

  19. I love the presentation! Definitely your cheesecake is yummy, but you have let my eyes feasted on it as well….. Love how you topped with different berries. Its almost perfect!!

  20. The almond crust makes this gluten free! I might have to make it soon.

  21. this looks heavenly, annie! i am also loving all the fresh, delicious strawberries that we have on-hand nowadays.

    i am also impressed at how beautiful your cheesecake turned out. WOW.

  22. This looks great! I’m not a big fan of chocolate and strawberries together, but all in all, this sounds like the perfect summery dessert. I’d love to try the nutty crust too, because I think it’d be just grand. Thanks for sharing.

  23. looks delish! can’t wait to try!!!

  24. Oh that looks heavenly! Who could resist cheesecake, strawberries and chocolate ganache all on the same plate! I’m with you on the crust…there’s nothing better than a good ol’ graham cracker crust. Thanks for sharing the recipe!

  25. Well this just looks sinfully delicious. I’m not much of a cheesecake eater, but the looks alone are enough for me to want to get in my kitchen and get to baking.

  26. Cheesecake… YUM…

  27. Wow…this just looks fantastic. Just beautiful Annie!

  28. I need to make this – I love strawberries and chocolate! Looks beautiful too 🙂

  29. OH! I am so excited that it’s strawberry season again too! They are so cheap and so yummy and I’ve been buying them every time I step into the store.

  30. Wow, this looks great! I would love to make it some day, but I’m afraid it’s impossible to find sour cream where I live…Is there any alternative? [*crossing fingers]

  31. WOW. That is amazing! I think I’ll be needing to try this really soon.

  32. …and now I must buy a springform pan. I can justify it because I love strawberrys, chocolate, and cheesecake. All in one is a huge bonus. 🙂

  33. Your presentation is absolutely gorgeous!

    This sounds yummy 🙂

  34. Holy smokes that sounds/looks fantastic! Cheesecake is one of my favorite things in the world! I love the idea of using almonds for the crust. Thanks!

  35. This is absolutely beautiful. Everything you make looks so impressive! My husband loves cheesecake, and I have always wanted to attempt to make one for him. Annie, do you think this would work just as well with raspberries (his favorite cheesecake flavor)?

    • Chris,
      I’m always a little leery of subbing out one fruit puree for another. Especially raspberries and strawberries because they can vary a lot in their natural sweetness. You could try it but would likely have to add more sugar to the raspberry type, since the tend to be more tart (not sure how much). I’ll hunt around for a raspberry cheesecake. I’m pretty sure I have one bookmarked!

  36. Thanks, Annie! I’m glad I asked. I will keep an eye out for a raspberry/white chocolate cheesecake recipe.

  37. Ahhh~~~You’re making me crazy~~My saliva is drizzling….This looks sooooo good…and BTW, your pics are great!

  38. Hi again Annie, I googled around as you suggested and found that a substitute for sour cream could be yogurt or yogurt with a little bit of baking soda. If I ever try this I’ll let you know how it turns out. It would be a very useful trick for those of us who don’t live in the US.
    Thanks for your amazing recipes!

  39. Strawberries must be in season! I need to go get some strawberries and make this!

  40. So pretty, Annie! Love the chocolate and berries on top!

  41. OH MY GOODNESS!!!!! That look amazing!!!! going to have to try this soon for sure!!!

  42. Congratulations, Annie! I am so happy for you and your family. Now you can have a much less stressful summer. Hooray!

  43. I keep coming back to your blog just to look at this picture like if I come back so many times it just may appear in front of my very eyes! It looks so good! My friends older sister just found out she is having a baby boy so I may just have to make this for her (and eat a piece while I’m at it). 😉

  44. That looks divine, absolutely lush 🙂

  45. I made this yesterday and it turned out beautifully! The filling is really creamy and light for a cheesecake, and the chocolate ganache provides an awesome counterpoint to the other flavors. I love the almond crust, too! The only problem I had was that some of the water from the water bath got between the tin foil and the springform pan, so I don’t think the crust was as crisp as it should have been. Is there a secret to the way you wrap the tinfoil around the pan to keep it waterproof?

    • Macaire,
      I don’t know any special tricks for foil wrapping and if you read my post, you’ll see I had the same problem. I think the best strategy is a truly leakproof springform pan. Mine used to be but I let a friend borrow it and it hasn’t been the same since. I will probably invest in a new one soon.

  46. You have such pretty handwriting and I love the hydrangeas!

  47. My niece is getting baptized in two weeks and she requested a strawberry cheesecake or a cheesecake with strawberries on top. So, my first instinct was to check out your blog and of course I wasn’t disappointed! Now, I have a little question, can I use fresh strawberries instead of the frozen kind for the puree? Thanks, Annie!

  48. I don’t know how did I miss it! so sorry, Annie!! –Maybe the fact that I have two boys 11-months apart can explain that 🙂

  49. What an amazing combination of flavors!! I made it last weekend and got great comments about it. This is sure a hit!

  50. Your cake looks amazing. Can we make this cake without eggs? I don’t eat eggs, it would be great if you could suggest an egg replacer for the same!

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