1 hours 20 mins
FOR THE CRUST:
- 1.5 to 2 cups GF graham cracker crumbs (one 7.5 to 10 oz box of graham crackers)
- 6 tbsp butter, melted
FOR THE CHEESECAKE FILLING:
- 16 oz cream cheese, softened
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- ¼ cup sour cream
- 2 eggs
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
FOR THE STRAWBERRY SAUCE:
- ½ lb strawberries, diced
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- ½ tsp pure vanilla extract
- 2 tbsp water
- 1.5 tsp cornstarch
- ½ lb strawberries, cut into quarters (or halves if the strawberries are smaller)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease 9 inch non-stick springform pan with a bit of butter or cooking spray, and then line the bottom with parchment paper.
- In a medium-sized bowl, combine the graham cracker crumbs and melted butter to make the crust.
- Lightly press the graham cracker crumb mixture into lined pan so the bottom and the sides are completely covered. If you're able to cover the sides, then the strawberry sauce will stay on top better.
- In a large bowl, combine the cream cheese, sour cream, and sugar, and mix well. Add the eggs to the bowl and vanilla extract to the bowl, and mix together.
- Place pan on baking sheet. This protects the bottom of the crust from burning, and makes it easier to move the pan in and out of the oven.
- Spoon cream cheese mixture on top of graham cracker crust. Smooth the mixture well so it completely covers the crust.
- Bake for about 50 minutes, or until edges are slightly golden and the center no longer wobbles.
- Remove the cheesecake from oven, and let it cool completely before refrigerating.
- Put the cheesecake in the fridge so it can chill overnight or for at least a few hours before cutting into them. I like to chill the cheesecake overnight.
- If you use a springform pan, then unlatch the pan, gently lift away the sides, and then slide the cake onto a platter. Or you can simply leave the cake on its base instead of attempting to slide if off.
- To make the strawberry sauce, put diced strawberries, granulated sugar, lemon juice, and pure vanilla extract in a saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly until the strawberries mostly break down and the sauce has thickened. It should take about 15 minutes. If you want all of the diced strawberries to break down, you can turn it up to medium-high heat and let it simmer.
- In a small bowl, combine water and cornstarch. Pour this mixture into saucepan, and stir for a couple minutes. Add quartered strawberries, and cook for 1 minute. The sauce should be syrupy. Set aside the saucepan to let it cool, stirring occasionally. It will thicken as it cools.
- Once the strawberry sauce has completely cooled, top the cheesecake with the strawberry sauce. I like to keep the strawberry quarters facedown. Put cheesecake in the fridge for at least 2 hours, or until you're ready to serve it.
- To easily cut the cheesecake, heat a knife under hot water for a minute and then wipe knife dry. Cut into the cheesecake, and wipe knife clean after each cut. Store cheesecake in fridge.
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