Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Great Aunt Louise's Cheesecake and Strawberry Sauce

Cynthia Raxter
Storyteller and Comedian

As I munch on cucumbers from the Chatham Mills Farmers Market - here is a recipe worthy of this year's luscious strawberries! I think the berries this year are the best I've ever tasted. Maybe the slow spring gave them plenty of time to ripen gradually? I don't know! They are divine!!

Great Aunt Louise's Cheesecake and Strawberry Sauce

Pat of butter (for pan)
1 1/2 packages of Graham Crackers-crushed (abt. 2 cups crumbs)
1/3 cup dark brown sugar, packed
1 teaspoon cinnamon
pinch of salt
1 stick unsalted butter, melted
Heavily butter 10" springform pan. Mix dry ingredients and pour melted butter over top. Mix. I use a small measuring cup to help press it evenly into pan.

16 ounces small curd cottage cheese (Do not use non-fat. There are too many additives and salt)
16 ounces cream cheese, softened
1 cup white sugar
4 large eggs
1/4 cup corn starch
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 stick unsalted butter, melted
16 ounces sour cream
Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
Using a sieve or colander and rubber spatula, press cottage cheese into large mixing bowl. Add cream cheese to bowl in 6-8 chunks. Beat at high speed until creamy - about 4 minutes. Beat 1 minute more while gradually adding sugar. On medium, add eggs one at a time and beat for 1 minute after each one. In glass measuring cup, mix cornstarch and lemon juice until smooth. On low speed, add corn starch and lemon juice, salt and vanilla and mix for 1 minute until smooth. By hand, fold in melted butter, then sour cream. Pour into springform pan. 

Bake 1 hour and 10 minutes - until center is firm and edges are slightly brown. Turn off oven and let sit inside with door propped open (I use a wooden spoon) for 45 minutes to overnight. When cooled to room temperature, chill.

Berry sauce
1 quart fresh strawberries
1/4 cup white sugar
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1/4 cup apple juice
pinch of salt
1 tablespoon butter
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
Rinse and hull berries. Crush enough to make 1 cup of pulp. Slice rest into a pretty glass bowl and chill. In 4 cup glass measuring cup mix sugar, cornstarch and salt. Add apple juice and stir to dissolve. Add berry pulp. In microwave heat at 50% power until boiling, stirring every 2 minutes. Boil for 2 minutes. Remove from microwave and gently stir in butter and lemon juice. Cool to room temperature. Chill. Pour over sliced berries just before serving.

The sauce is also delicious made with peaches!