The idea of making cheesecake scared me, until I actually made it and realized it was not difficult at all. Especially with this recipe. The shortbread crust means you don't have to spend time crushing graham crackers or make a special purchase of graham cracker crumbs. And I just love shortbread. And strawberries.
*Adapted from Kristin Ann
Shortbread Cookie Crust:
1/2 cup butter, at room temperature
1/4 cup powdered sugar
1 cup flour
24 ounces cream cheese (3 boxes), at room temperature
3/4 cup sugar
1 Tablespoon vanilla
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cup sour cream
2 cups ripe (or very ripe) strawberries
1/2 cup water
1 1/2 cups sugar
For the crust, cream butter and sugar in a mixer until completely combined. Add flour, and mix until combined. In a buttered spring form pan, press dough on the bottom until completely even. Make sure the depth is consistent all-around.
Wrap the outside of the pan with heavy-duty foil. Bake at 375 degrees for 10-12 minutes. Edges should be slightly golden-brown.
For the filling, cream the sugar and cream cheese together in a large bowl. Add one egg at a time, scraping the bottom of the bowl after each egg is added. When completely combined, add vanilla, salt, and sour cream. Mix until smooth. Pour filling into crust and smooth out the top.
Bake for about 1 hour and 30 minutes at 330 degrees. The cake is done when the top loses its luster and has a dull look to it, or when it starts to brown on the top. Check in at the hour mark to make sure it doesn't burn.
Let the cake cool and then place in the fridge for at least 48 hours before serving. (I know!! Patience is not my strong point, but this is worth it.)
For the strawberry syrup, puree strawberries and water using a blender or food processor. When smooth, transfer to a saucepan and add sugar. Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking. Reduce heat and let simmer for five minutes. Remove from heat and let cool. Transfer to a serving spout and serve over cheesecake. De-lish!