Strawberry Cheesecake

Cheesecake with Fresh Strawberry Sauce
This creamy cheesecake recipe is best topped with sauce made from fresh, in season Bartlett’s strawberries.

1/2 cup sugar
20 reduced-calorie vanilla wafers
1/8 teaspoon salt, divided
3 large egg whites, divided
Cooking spray
1 1/2 cups sugar
3 tablespoons cornstarch
2 (8-ounce) blocks 1/3-less-fat cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup (4 ounces) block-style fat-free cream cheese, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
4 large eggs

Strawberry Sauce:

1 1/2 cups quartered strawberries
3/4 cup white sugar
1/2 cup water
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 teaspoons cornstarch
2 tablespoons water
1 tablespoon salted butter
1 additional cup of quartered strawberries

Strawberry Sauce Instructions
In a saucepan over medium heat, stir together the strawberries, sugar and water until the sugar is dissolved. Heat the mixture to boiling, stirring often. Reduce heat and add the vanilla and lemon juice.
In a small cup, combine the cornstarch and two tablespoons of water. Mix well.
Pour this into the boiling strawberry mixture. Stir and boil over medium-low heat for 4 minutes or until the mixture has thickened a bit. Remove the pan from the heat.
Add 1 tablespoon of butter and mix until the butter has completely melted.
Allow the mixture to cool for 15 minutes, then add the last cup of quartered, fresh strawberries. Let cool completely. Make up to week a head of time.

Cheesecake Preparation and Assembly
Preheat oven to 350°.
To prepare cheesecake, place 1/2 cup sugar, wafers, and dash salt in a food processor; process until mixture resembles sand. Place 1 egg white in a small bowl; stir with a whisk until frothy. With the processor on, add 2 tablespoons egg white through food chute, processing until blended (discard remaining egg white). Firmly press mixture into bottom and slightly up sides of an 8-inch springform pan coated with cooking spray. Bake at 350° for 10 minutes; cool completely on a wire rack.
Reduce oven to 300°.
Combine 1 1/2 cups sugar, 3 tablespoons cornstarch, and remaining dash salt in a large bowl. Add cheeses; beat with a mixer at medium-high speed until smooth. Reduce mixer speed to low. Add vanilla and 1 teaspoon juice; beat just until combined. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating after each addition just until incorporated. Add remaining 2 egg whites; beat just until incorporated.
Pour cheese mixture into prepared pan. Bake at 300° for 1 hour and 15 minutes or until a 3-inch circle in the center of the cheesecake barely jiggles when the side of the pan is tapped. Turn oven off. Leave cheesecake in oven with the door open for 30 minutes. Remove cheesecake from oven; run a knife around outside edge. Cool to room temperature on a wire rack. Cover and chill at least 8 hours. Garnish cake with strawberries, if desired.

If you make this cake in a nine-inch springform pan, cut the baking time by about 15 minutes. The center of the cake may appear looser than expected, but it will become firmer as it chills overnight.

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