Roasted Strawberry Cheesecake

/ Monday, January 4, 2010

To me, there are two ways a food can be fresh:
1. Using fruit, vegetables, even seafood or meat to create a simple, honest dish.
2. Using fruit to sweeten a dessert, even if it's creamy, gooey, and a tad indulgent.

Saying a food is "off-limits" is something you won't hear from a food lover. We'll find a way to incorporate anything and everything into our diets despite extra calories, fat, even food allergies. Take that dairy!
I'm starting the new year with this cheesecake, not because it's resolution friendly, but because it is a sweet and delicious way to start "fresh" in 2010. The rich strawberry flavor comes from 1 pound of strawberries that are slow roasted in the oven to concentrate their sweetness. Also, marscarpone cheese is an incredible addition that gives the cake a lighter, cleaner taste.

It is still January, so it is not too late, spend the afternoon creating this sweet-tangy masterpiece and indulge with those you love the most. Let it be known that 2010 will be that much more delicious than the years before, and start the year off with a "I love cheesecake" smile. Enjoy!

Recipe courtesy of

Serves 8 to 10

  • 1 pound strawberries, hulled
  • 3 tablespoons light corn syrup
  • 1 cup finely ground graham crackers (about 4 sheets)
  • 1 cup plus 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 pound plus 13 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 vanilla bean, seeds scraped and reserved
  • 8 1/4 ounces mascarpone cheese, room temperature


  1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Place strawberries in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet. 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.

  2. Raise oven temperature to 350 degrees. 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.
  3. Reduce oven temperature to 325 degrees. 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.)
  4. 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.

  5. 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).

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