- 1 package (16 oz) frozen strawberries
- 3 packages (8 oz each) cream cheese, soft at room temperature
- 1 cup Dixie Crystals Extra Fine Granulated Sugar
- 3 large eggs + 1 egg white
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- Couple of drops red food color (optional)
- 1 1/8 cup all-purpose flour*
- 1 stick (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter, soft
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup Dixie Crystals Confectioners Powdered Sugar
- Zest of 1 lemon, no white bitter pith
- 1 pint fresh strawberries
- 2 tablespoons Dixie Crystals Confectioners Powdered Sugar
*Spoon & Sweep method: Use a spoon to fill measuring cup with flour until required amount is obtained. Scooping measuring cup directly into flour bag will firmly pack flour resulting in too much flour required for recipe.
- Preheat oven to 325°F.
- Melt 2 tablespoons butter and brush a thin layer of butter into springform pan. Sprinkle butter coating evenly with a few tablespoons granulated sugar. Place springform pan on 3 layers of aluminum foil and wrap outside of pan tightly with foil. Ensure that no water could penetrate thru foil. Place in a roasting pan and set aside.
- Defrost strawberries at room temperature or in a microwave oven.
- Place strawberries into a large sieve and gently press out 1/2 cup strawberry juice. The juice will not be used in the cheesecake, but is delicious to flavor sparkling water.
- Mix pressed strawberries in a blender until very smooth. It should measure 1 1/4 cup. Add reserved juice if needed. Set aside.
- Blend cream cheese and 1 cup sugar on lowest speed, alternatively mix by using a handheld spatula until no lumps remain. Scrape bowl well. Add one egg at a time waiting for previous added egg to be fully incorporated and mixture shows no lumps. Scrape bowl and beater between additions. Add egg white and combine.
- Add strawberry puree and vanilla (add food color is using) and pour batter into pan.
- Pour hot water into roasting pan about one inch high, place cheesecake into roasting pan and place in oven.
- Bake until center of cake no longer trembles when tapping sides of pan, about 90 minutes.
- Allow to cool at room temperature for 30 minutes and then place in refrigerator overnight or at least 4 hours.
- To prepare crust, sift flour and set aside. Mix butter, salt, and powdered sugar until very well combined. Add lemon zest and mix well.
- Once no butter lumps remain, add sifted flour and mix until just combined. Do not over mix.
- Press dough into a circle with same dimensions as cheesecake pan.
- Place in a 350°F oven until golden on edges, about 12 minutes. Let cool and wrap in plastic until unmolding cheesecake.
- Run a knife around inner wall of springform pan. Remove springform pan from cheesecake. Place a piece of plastic food wrap on surface. Place a cutting board or other flat sturdy platter on top of cheesecake.
- Flip cheesecake upside down. Remove bottom of springform pan.
- Place baked cookie bottom on cheesecake. Place a cutting board or sturdy platter on cookie bottom. Flip cheesecake over.
- If needed, trim cookie crust using a serrated knife. Decorate surface of cheesecake with fresh strawberries and sprinkle with powdered sugar.