“PURITY AND SIMPLICITY ARE THE TWO WINGS WITH WHICH MAN SOARS ABOVE THE EARTH AND ALL TEMPORARY NATURE.” Thomas Kempis.
I am a purist at heart. And I firmly believe that vanilla is under rated.
Would I turn away a piece of oreo snickers triple chocolate mousse turtle pecan double caramel chocolate chip pumpkin dulce de leche mocha fudge ripple cheesecake with raspberries and extra whipped cream?
But a sweet and creamy vanilla cheesecake with a thin layer of vanilla cookie crust topped with fresh strawberries and brushed with a light and sweet strawberry glaze appeals to me even more!
Vanilla cheesecake. Glazed strawberries. Purity. Simplicity.
Do you want to know what really prompted the making of this cheesecake? My son told me that he was craving a cheesecake with strawberries that he saw at Sam’s Club.
You want me to go to Sam’s Club to buy a cheesecake??? (Actually, I once had a Key Lime Pie from Costco that was pretty amazing!)
C’mon now. A simple cheesecake with glazed strawberries. Give me a chance here!
Yields: 1 (9 inch) cheesecake
Level of Difficulty: easy
VANILLA COOKIE CRUST:
- 4 ounces of vanilla wafer cookies
- 3 Tablespoons of melted butter
- 1 teaspoon of pure vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon of sugar
- a pinch of salt
Pulse the cookies in the bowl of your food processor until they form a fine crumb. Add the melted butter, vanilla, sugar and salt and mix until all are combined. Press this along the bottom of a 9 inch springform pan. I like to use the bottom of a small juice glass to be sure it is pressed evenly and the thickness is uniform.
Note: this makes enough to cover the bottom only of your pan. If you prefer the crust to extend up the sides of your cheesecake, double the cookie crust recipe.
Bake the crust in a 375° oven until the crust is lightly browned, about 10 minutes. Let the crust cool while you make the cheesecake filling. Remove the pan from the oven and reduce the temperature to 350°F.
The latch on my 9 inch round springform pan broke, so I made this in a heart shaped pan. But truthfully, isn’t it nice to make a heart shaped cheesecake for someone you love???
I debated about using a light layer of sponge cake as the bottom of this cheesecake. But then I decided to put just a thin layer of the cookie crust. And I’m glad I did. It was a nice change up from the usual graham cracker crust that I use so often. And it just added to the celebration of vanilla in this cheesecake!
VANILLA BEAN CHEESECAKE FILLING:
- 4 (8 ounce blocks) of cream cheese at room temperature
- 1 1/4 cups of sugar
- the seeds of 1 vanilla bean
- 1 Tablespoon of pure vanilla extract
- 3/4 of a cup of sour cream
- 6 large eggs
Place the cream cheese in the bowl of your electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Blend on medium high speed until the cream cheese is nice and smooth. Slowly add the sugar, and continue to beat until the mix is light and fluffy. Add the vanilla bean and the vanilla extract. Mix until the seeds are pretty well incorporated. Add the sour cream, blending until combined. Then add your eggs one at a time, making sure each is incorporated before adding the next.
Wrap some tin foil around the bottom and sides of your springform pan. Pour the cream cheese filling on top of your cooled crust. Place the pan in the middle of a roasting pan. Fill the roasting pan with boiling water until it reaches halfway up the sides of the springform pan. Bake in a 350°F oven for about 55-60 minutes. Cool the cake completely on a wire rack. And then cover it with some saran and refrigerate overnight.
- 1 cup of strawberry jam
- the juice of 1/2 lemon
- 1 pound (or a little more) of fresh strawberries. (I usually buy 2 pounds because you will want to pick through and choose the prettiest strawberries and those that are uniform in size.
Simply heat the jam and lemon juice over medium heat until the jam becomes very liquid. Cool to room temperature. Hull the strawberries and place them with the tips pointing up on top of your cheesecake. Using a pastry brush, brush the strawberries coating each one with the glaze. You may pour the remainder of the glaze over the top if you are serving right away. Or you may reserve the glaze to pour over the cheesecake as you cut it.
Try some. . . . .
Sweet strawberries and creamy vanilla. Pure and simple. And good to the last bite.
In the mood for more cheesecake? Try my: