Source of Recipe
Martha Stewart Living
The name of this recipe should have the word 'Roasted' in front of the word 'Strawberries' because that is what elevates this recipe beyond just good cheesecake. It is truly exceptional and I will make this again and again. The incredibly intense strawberry flavor is a perfect match with the vanilla bean top layer. The crust needs a little work - it was a bit too moist.
Now that I've made this one, I am thinking of the other fruit possibilities. Peaches, blackberries, blueberries.
Recipe Link: www.marthastewart.com/page.jhtml?type=content&id=recipe3730110
List of Ingredients
1 ½ lb. strawberries, hulled
3 T. light corn syrup
1 ½ c. finely ground graham crackers (about 4 sheets)
1 C. plus 3 T. sugar
3 T. unsalted butter, melted
1 lb. plus 13 oz. cream cheese, room temperature
¼ t. salt
2 large eggs, room temperature
1 vanilla bean, seeds scraped and reserved
8 ¾ oz. mascarpone cheese, room temperature
Preheat oven to 300°. Place strawberries in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet [I lined the sheet with Release foil]. 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.
Raise oven temperature to 350°. 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.
Reduce oven temperature to 325°. 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.)
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.
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).
NOTE: Cupcake Queen at http://52cupcakes.blogspot.com/: made these as cupcakes. She put them together the same way, but cooked for only about 45 minutes. I'm thinking that a big blob of whipped cream and some macerated strawberries would be good on these.
Serves 8 - 10.