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Strawberries-and-Cream Cheesecake

This dessert is proof that cheesecake can be as unexpected as it is delicious. Its surprise comes when intense oven-roasted strawberries are folded into a blend of tangy mascarpone and cream cheese. The mixture is spread over a graham cracker crust and covered with a rich vanilla layer. The result will please on every level.

  • servings: 10
Photography: Beatriz Da Costa

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Ingredients

  • 1 pound strawberries, hulled
  • 3 tablespoons light corn syrup
  • 1 cup finely ground graham crackers (about 4 sheets)
  • 1 cup plus 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 pound plus 13 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 vanilla bean, seeds scraped and reserved
  • 8 1/4 ounces mascarpone cheese, room temperature

Directions

  1. Step 1

    Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Place strawberries in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle with corn syrup, and toss gently to coat. Bake until syrup thickens and strawberries turn deep red and shrink slightly, about 1 hour 30 minutes. Transfer strawberries and syrup to a medium bowl, and mash with a potato masher. Let cool completely.

  2. Step 2

    Raise oven temperature to 350 degrees. Stir together graham cracker crumbs, 3 tablespoons sugar, and the melted butter in a small bowl. Press mixture into the bottom of a 9-inch springform pan to make an even layer. Bake until crust is firm to the touch and has just darkened, about 10 minutes. Transfer pan to a wire rack, and let crust cool completely.

  3. Step 3

    Reduce oven temperature to 325 degrees. Put cream cheese into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment; mix on medium-low speed until creamy, about 2 minutes. Scrape down sides of bowl, then gradually add remaining cup sugar and the salt. Scrape down sides of bowl; add eggs, 1 at a time, mixing well after each addition. Scrape down sides of bowl, and mix in vanilla bean seeds and mascarpone until very creamy and no lumps remain, about 3 minutes. (Reserve vanilla bean for another use.)

  4. Step 4

    Transfer 5 cups cream cheese mixture to bowl with mashed strawberries; stir to combine. Pour strawberry-cream cheese mixture on top of crust; smooth with an offset spatula. Carefully spoon dollops of plain cream cheese mixture on top, smoothing with an offset spatula.

  5. Step 5

    Wrap the exterior of the springform pan in 2 layers of foil; set in a large roasting pan. Fill roasting pan with boiling water until water reaches halfway up the sides of the springform pan. Bake cheesecake until set, about 1 hour to 1 hour 10 minutes. Remove springform pan from water bath, and transfer to a wire rack to cool. Refrigerate until cold, at least 4 hours (up to overnight).

Source
Martha Stewart Living, July 2006

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Reviews (28)

  • mlwilliams72 29 Aug, 2013

    I've been making this since it came out in Martha's magazine many years ago. Friends coming to dinner request it in advance! Over the years I've tweaked the recipe a good bit: I use 16 ounces of mascarpone cheese instead of 8, use 3 eggs, use only 3/4 lb. strawberries, use only 4 c. of the cream cheese mixture for the strawberry layer, then you'll have a more substantial cream layer. Use oversized heavy-duty foil to keep water from leaking in. It will wrap all the way around your pan.

  • Ceege 22 May, 2013

    @ Carol Brannigan ------Martha has a recipe for home made graham crackers. Perhaps you can get the recipe from her site and make your own since they do not sell them in Italy.

  • JohnR101 7 Apr, 2013

    I made this cheesecake and it turned out perfect! Released from thre pan perfectly, and tasted perfectly! Can't wait to make it again!

  • Carol Brannigan 3 Apr, 2013

    What are graham crackers, what equivalent ingredient could be used (I live in Italy)?

  • JoFriel 30 Aug, 2012

    Can someone help me convert this recipe over to metric? thanks

  • Olcia 3 Jun, 2012

    the most delicious cheesecake Ive ever made.
    and for sure I will make again.

  • Clara Maria_1 26 May, 2012

    I have made this recipe many times, and it always turned out fantastic! A real keeper.

  • Jr_Martha 4 Feb, 2012

    This recipe is a regular in my house. Delicious. To ensure it doesnt fall apart make sure to bake it for the full time and chill it OVERNIGHT no exceptions- it'll turn our perfect everytime. Also the strawberriy section is very overpowering and the top layer is so great that I use about 4-6 large strawberries and mix them with 1/4-1/3 of the cheesecake mixture. Perfect everytime.

  • Katherine_in_IA 3 Jul, 2011

    Lots to love here, and lots of small frustrations. First, this was way too long to roast the berries. I used the method described in Martha's recipe for Strawberry Napoleon - much better! Second, brush the crust w/ whisked egg white halfway through baking - this will ensure a crisp crust. Third, reserve 2 c of the cheese mixture and mix the remainder with the berries - much easier than measuring 5 c, which didn't leave enough for the top, anyway. I wound up marbling the top - also pretty.

  • Digigirl 3 May, 2011

    Excellent cheesecake! I used Neufchatel cheese instead of cream cheese, and honey instead of corn syrup, and it worked great. Delicious, creamy and beautiful. I will make this again, and would make this for a special event!

  • AllAroundBaker 15 Aug, 2010

    Make sure the cheesecake chills thoroughly before you take it out from the spring form pan otherwise it will fall apart. It was very good, and the roasted strawberries gave it a distinct, tart flavor.

  • tmdewall 11 Jun, 2010

    Made this cheesecake for my husband, it is wonderful in flavor, but he likes a little more dense cheesecake. The white layer is perfect consistency, the strawberry layer is pretty soft, but still wonderful. Also I agree don't use 5 cups of the mix to mix with strawberries, I will cut back on the strawberries as well next time. YUM.

  • Momcoo 10 May, 2010

    I made the cheesecake 36 hours ago and it has improved in taste (it definitely tastes better than yesterday) and it even tastes slightly sweeter (to my liking). So I recommend making this at least a day in advance (and not just 4 hours as the recipe says) and let it sit in the fridge to "mature" - which means this is a great make-ahead recipe for special occasions!

  • Momcoo 9 May, 2010

    With just two eggs in the recipe, the cake stays amazingly flat (my cheesecakes always have a crack no matter how carefully I beat the eggs and watch of the temps). I did not have much of a cream layer when I put it on, but after keeping the cheesecake uncovered in the fridge for 12 hours, the cream layer got firmer and showed up well (like the photo here). The cheesecake is very creamy, on the soft side, but if you get a gooey one that does not even hold up, something must've gone wrong.

  • Momcoo 9 May, 2010

    When I saw the picture of this cake, I could not resist making it. The first attempt turned out quite well, although it's not as fantastic as I thought it would. I think my strawberries were on the tart side so it's quite sour - almost as if there's some ruhbarb in it. I think I could've used a little more sugar (when I tasted the roasted strawberries they were quite tart). I'll definitely make it again. This is a great celebration recipe, beautiful and tasty!

  • prairiegirlMB 9 May, 2010

    Same thing. Gooey mess. This cheesecake would not bake. I also followed the directions, and the top of it was close to burnt it was so brown (quite contrary to the picture), and it was liquid soup in the middle. It baked for a lot of extra time, and still would not firm up. 7 hours later and $50 later, i'm in the same boat as starlight. Dissapointed.

  • starlight51577 8 May, 2010

    $14 and 3 hours later and I have a big gooey mess! I followed the directions exactly and when I took the ring of the springform pan off the entire cheesecake collapsed! So much for Mothers Day dessert.

  • hkbcooks 28 Mar, 2010

    This was a fantastic cheesecake. It does take a bit more time, but worth it's weight!!!! The strawberry flavor really comes out with the roasting of the strawberries. If you love cheesecake

  • hkbcooks 28 Mar, 2010

    This was a fantastic cheesecake. It does take a bit more time, but worth it's weight!!!! The strawberry flavor really comes out with the roasting of the strawberries. If you love cheesecake

  • ladycamille 10 Dec, 2009

    Can't say enough wonderful things about this cheesecake! I made it last year for my birthday and now that I'm approaching another birthday, I'm having a hard time coming up with a cheesecake to top this one. I still dream about it from time to time.

  • realart1114 7 May, 2009

    Absolutely worth the time and effort! I made it with a shortbread crust and it's great! I'm making this for my mother for mother's day. They only sell the mascarpone cheese in 8 oz. containers where I live, so I make up the 3/4 oz difference with cream cheese. Unless you are going to use the extra mascarpone for something else, it's not worth the extra money. I highly recommend this recipe!

  • realart1114 7 May, 2009

    Absolutely worth the time and effort! I made it with a shortbread crust and it's great! I'm making this for my mother for mother's day. They only sell the mascarpone cheese in 8 oz. containers where I live, so I make up the 3/4 oz difference with cream cheese. Unless you are going to use the extra mascarpone for something else, it's not worth the extra money. I highly recommend this recipe!

  • acookfortheKing 22 Mar, 2009

    DELICIOUS!!! Definitely worth staying up past 2 am cooking this. Next time I will just use 2 pounds of strawberries. Also the recipe says to separate 5 cups of cream cheese mixture

  • Exysay 6 Mar, 2009

    Recipe said to add (5) dups of batter to strawberry but I did not have enough left to make a nice white top layer. I will try 4 cups instead next time and will also use 8" pan to get a taller cheesecake. Great taste though and fairly easy.

  • dips 3 Mar, 2009

    what does 8 3/4 ounces mascarpone cheese mean?
    Do i need to buy another container of mascarpone just for less than 1 ounce?

  • rachaelchan 24 Nov, 2008

    Very delicious! Time consuming but very worth the effort.

  • mmsrjs 28 Jul, 2008

    NEVER HAD CHEESECAKE BUT KNOW MY HUSBAND LOVES IT, THIS IS THE FIRST ONE THAT I'VE SEEN THAT I WILL TRY THE RECIPE. MAKE HIM HAPPY!!
    PLUS I LOVE STRAWBERRIES AND CREAM.

  • PenelopeRB 26 Dec, 2007

    Delicious! I've made it twice. It freezes well too, just be sure to wrap it tightly after it has completely cooled.