#SundaySupper Cheesecake with Fresh Berries

Yay! It’s time for another #SundaySupper celebration. I was unable to attend last Sunday because of that dreaded 20-page research paper, but I’m back, and I couldn’t be more excited. We are  celebrating Cristina Ferrare’s cookbook for #SundaySupper this week. I don’t personally own her cookbook, but I hear it’s amazing. I chose a recipe from her website, which is absolutely beautiful.

You can find Cristina on the Oprah Winfrey Network, Foodily, and on her site. Her recipes are amazing. I made her cheesecake with fresh berries, and it does not disappoint. The filling is smooth and creamy with a hint of lemon. The entire cake gets topped with fresh summer berries and glazed with a sweet sauce. It’s excellent!

This is the first cheesecake I have ever made that didn’t crack. I was thrilled. I felt like a real professional. I thought to myself, “Dang, it didn’t crack. Well I’ll be darned. This cake is a winner.” I took it out of the oven and it was all smooth on top. I was theatrically clapping like a small child. What can I say, a smooth cheesecake makes this girl happy.

Oooo, look at the sweet strawberry sauce dripping down the sides of the ripe berries. That’s a dreamy sight, indeed.

Happy #SundaySupper. A big thank you to Cristina Ferrare for joining us this Sunday. Enjoy your time around the family table.

Make sure you check out the other Cristina Ferrare recipes my fellow #SundaySupper foodies are cookin’ up:

XO,

Jennie

Recipe:

adapted from Cristina Ferrare

GRAHAM CRACKER CRUST

1 1/2 cup graham cracker crumbs

1 cup pecans

1/4 cup sugar

1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

1/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

FILLING

3 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, at room temperature

1 cup sugar

3 large eggs, at room temperature

1/2 cup sour cream, at room temperature

2 tablespoons lemon juice

2 tsp. lemon zest

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

TOPPING

1 pint fresh strawberries, halved and arranged on top of the cake

1/4 cup strawberry jam

To make the crust:  In the bowl of a food processor, add 1 cup of pecans. Pulse the pecans until they become a fine crumb. In a medium-size bowl, stir together the graham cracker crumbs, pecan crumbs, sugar, cinnamon, and butter until moistened. Using the bottom of a glass, press the crumbs into the bottom of a 10-inch by 3-inch springform pan. Bake for 15 minutes, and cool completely.

To make the filling:  In a mixer using the paddle attachment, mix the cream cheese for two minutes, stopping to scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add 1 cup of sugar in an even stream, and mix for 2 more minutes, until light and fluffy, stopping to scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing after each addition to incorporate thoroughly, and scrape down the sides of the bowl each time. Add the  of sour cream, lemon juice, lemon zest, and vanilla. Process until well blended. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Pour the filling into the cooled crust, and spread evenly in the pan. Lift the pan and tap it on the counter several times to release any bubbles in the batter. Bake for 1 hour, or until the top is set. If it wiggles slightly, that’s okay. Do not overbake.

Cool the cake completely in the pan overnight. On the next day, release the springform pan from the cake. Arrange the halved strawberries attractively on top of the cake. Heat 1/4 cup of strawberry jam in the microwave for about 40 seconds. Using a pastry brush, brush the strawberries with the jam to give it a sweet, shiny coating. Slice and serve. Enjoy!

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