This Classic Cheesecake is light and creamy, with a crisp crust, and luscious strawberry sauce on top. Cheesecakes really aren't difficult to make at all - I'll walk you through the entire process to ensure success each time you bake this!
32ouncescream cheese, at room tempFor best results, don't use the tub kind or fat free
1 and 1/2cupsgranulated or cane sugar
4largeeggs, at room temp
1cupsour cream, at room tempFor best results, don't use low fat or fat free
For the Strawberry Sauce/Topping
1lbstrawberries, quarteredCan use fresh or frozen - no need to thaw if using frozen
1/3cupgranulated or cane sugar
pinchoflemon zest optional, but good
splashoflemon juiceoptional, but good
Make the Crust: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a 9 inch springform pan with nonstick spray and make sure the bottom is securely fastened. Stir together crust ingredients and press into prepared pan and up the sides a bit (see photos above). Bake this for 8 minutes. Set aside. Keep the oven on at 350.
Make the Cheesecake Filling: Remember that your cold ingredients need to come to room temp before you start or the filling won't turn out. In a large mixing bowl, cream the softened cream cheese until nice and creamy, about 1-2 minutes. Add the sugar and mix until just incorporated. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing after each until just incorporated. Add the vanilla and sour cream, and mix until just incorporated. (See photos above for what the batter will look like). Pour the batter over the baked and cooled crust, and smooth the top with a spatula.
Prepare the Water Bath + Bake: Get out a roasting pan and set the rack aside. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Set the springform pan with the cheesecake on a rack positioned in the center of the oven, and place the roasting pan on the rack below. Pour the boiling water into the roasting pan. This is the best way to do a water bath - no possibility of leakage into your cheesecake!Bake for 88-91 minutes. When done, the cheesecake will have only a slight wobble in the center, and a toothpick inserted into the edge will come out clean, and will have a bit of thick batter when inserted into the center. Turn off the oven and crack the door open. Let the cheesecake cool in the oven for 1 hour before removing it.
Cheesecake Cooling: Once the hour is up, remove the pan from the oven. It should be cool enough to handle. Remove the foil and set the springform pan on a cooling rack to continue cooling. Let cool completely at room temp, then cover well with foil and refrigerate at least 4 hours or up to 2 days before removing from the pan and serving.
Make the Strawberry Sauce: Stir together the cornstarch and water in a small bowl, making sure the cornstarch is fully dissolved. Add this and remaining sauce ingredients to a pot on the stove over medium heat. Stir, and bring the mixture to a simmer. Once simmering, cook for 5 minutes, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and allow to cool. It will thicken more and more the longer you let it cool. Store in the fridge in an airtight container until ready to use.
Serve + Store: Once cheesecake has chilled, remove it from the springform pan and serve with the strawberry sauce! Keep leftovers, well covered, in the fridge for up to a week.