- 8 whole graham cracker, broken into pieces
- 1 Tablespoon granulated sugar
- 5 Tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- 40 ounces cream chest, at room temperature.
- 1 ½ cups granulated sugar, divided in half
- ⅛ Teaspoon salt
- ⅓ Cup sour cream
- 2 Teaspoons lemon juice
- 2 Teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2 egg yolks
- 6 eggs
- 1 Tablespoon unsalted butter, melted
- 2 lbs. fresh strawberries, hulled and cut into ¼ inch slices (about 3 cups sliced strawberries)
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- Pinch of salt
- 1 cup strawberry jam
- 2 Tablespoons lemon juice
- Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and preheat oven to 300⁰ F.
- By hand or using a food processor, crush the graham crackers into fine crumbs. In a medium bowl stir together the graham cracker crumbs and sugar. Pour the melted butter into the bowl and use a fork to toss the mixture until it is evenly moistened. Transfer the crumbs to a 9-inch springform pan and press evenly into the bottom of the pan.
- Bake the crust until it begins to smell toasted and starts to brown around the edges, about 13 minutes. Transfer pan to a wire rack to cook while the filling is prepared.
- Increase the oven temperature to 500⁰ F. Beat the cream cheese on medium-low speed for 1 minute. Scrape sown the bowl, add ¾ cup of the sugar and the salt and beat on medium-low speed for another 1 minute. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, add the remaining ¾ cup of sugar and beat again on medium-low speed for 1 minute.
- Scrape down the sides of the bowl, add the sour cream, lemon juice and vanilla extract, and beat on low speed for 1 minute.
- Scrape down the sides of the bowl, add the egg yolks and beat on medium-low speed for 1 minute. Add the eggs, 2 at a time, beating for about 20 seconds between additions and scraping the bowl between additions.
- Without touching the crust, brush the sides of the inside of the pan with melted butter. Pour the filling into the pan and bake for 10 minutes. Without opening the oven door, reduce the oven temperature to 200⁰ F and continue to bake until the center of the cheesecake registers 150⁰ F on an instant-read digital thermometer, about 1 ½ hours.
- Place the pan on a wire rack and cool for 5 minutes, then run a paring knife around the cake to loosen it from the pan. Allow the cake to cool until it is barely warm, 2 ½ to 3 hours. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate until cold, at least 3 hours (the cheesecake can be refrigerated for up to 4 days).
Fresh Strawberry Topping
- In a large bowl, toss together the sliced strawberries and the sugar. Let sit for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally to combine.
- Process the jam in a food processor until smooth, about 10 seconds, or whisk vigorously until the jam is completely smooth. Place the jam in a small saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Simmer, stirring frequently, until jam is dark and no longer frothy, about 3 minutes. Stir in the lemon juice, then pour over the strawberries and stir to combine. Allow to cool to room temperature, then cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until cold, at least 2 hours up to 12 hours (strawberry topping is best served within 1 day of making it).
Tips to Serve the Cheesecake
- To unmold the cheesecake, wrap a hot towel around the outside of the springform pan and hold in place for 1 minute.
- Remove the sides of the springform pan, then slide a thin metal spatula between the crust and pan bottom to loosen, then slide the cheesecake onto a serving platter. (If you prefer you can leave the metal bottom from the springform pan under the cheesecake and place in on a serving plate).
- Let the cheesecake sit at room temperature for 30 minutes before serving.