This makes 1 9-inch cheesecake.
- (4) 8 ounce packages cream cheese (the regular variety, not light Neufchatel cream cheese) at room temperature
- 1 2/3 cups sugar (or use 1 1/6 cups xylitol for a sugar-free version. Or if you’re using swerve, I use 1 1/2 cups)
- 1/4 cup corn starch
- 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
- 2 extra large eggs
- 3/4 cup heavy whipping cream
Preheat the oven to 350degrees Fahrenheit and generously butter a 9-inch springfoam pan. Wrap the outside of the pan with foil, covering the bottom and extending up the sides.
Place an 8 ounce package of the cream cheese, 1/3 cup of the sugar, and the cornstarch in a large bowl. Beat with an electric mixer on low until creamy, about 3 minutes, scraping the bowl occasionally. Beat in the remaining 3 packages of cream cheese.
Increase the mixer speed to high and beat in the remaining 1 1/3 cups of sugar, then beat in the vanilla. Blend in the eggs, one at a time, beating the batter well after adding each one. Blend in the heavy cream. At this point, mix the filling only until completely blended. Be careful not to overmix the batter.
Gently spoon the cheese filling into the springform pan. Place the springform pan in a large shallow pan containing hot water that comes about 1 inch up the sides of the pan. Bake the cheescake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit until the center barely jiggles when you shake the pan, about 1 hour and 10 minutes.
Cool the cake on a wire rack for 1 hour. Then cover the cake with plastic wrap and refrigerate until it’s completely cold, at least 4 hours or overnight. Remove the sides of the springfoam pan. Slide the cake off of the bottom of the pan onto a serving plate. Or if you wish, simply leave the cake on the removable bottom of the pan and place it on a serving plate. If any cake is left over, cover it with plastic wrap and store in the refrigerator.
Ingredients for the Macaroon Crunch
- 1/2 cup chopped mixed nuts (almonds, peacans, and/or walnuts)
- 1/2 cup angel flake coconut
Ingredients for the Strawberry Topping
- 1 quart large ripe strawberries
- 1 cup strawberry jelly
- 1/2 cup apricot preserves
Directions for the Fresh Strawberry Cheesecake
Macaroon crunch: Spread the nuts and coconut on a baking sheet and toast in a 350 F oven until golden and crunchy, about 10 to 15 minutes. Set the crunch aside to cool.
To prepare the strawberries: Wash, hull, and sort through the strawberries, then pat them dry with paper towels. Starting at the outside edge of the cheesecake, arrange the berries on their sides, in rows, with ends pointing toward the edge of the cake. Continue until the top of the cake is completely covered by strawberries.
Now make the strawberry topping: Melt the strawberry jelly and apricot preserves together in a small saucepan over medium-low heat. Strain and drizzle the warm jelly over the berries. Sprinkle the macaroon crunch ina 1 1/2-inch border around the edge of the cheesecake, covering the berries around the outside edge. Loosely cover the entire cake with plastic wrap, being careful not to let the glaze stick to the wrap.
Refrigerate the cake until it’s completely cold, at least 4 hours or overnight. Remove the cake from the pan and serve it chilled. Wrap any leftover cake in plastic wrap and store in the refrigerator.