When Fred Meyer had cream cheese for $0.99 I stocked up! A few weeks ago I made homemade cheesecake for a dinner we were having with friends a few weeks ago and it was a HUGE hit! Everyone loved it. It was pretty easy too. You just have to plan ahead so the cheesecake can bake for an hour and cool sufficiently before topping and serving. I baked my cheesecake the night before to give it plenty of time to cool.
INGREDIENTS for Cheesecake crust:
1 ¼ Cups Graham Cracker Crumbs (about 15 squares)
2 Tablespoons Sugar
3 Tablespoons melted Butter or Margarine
INGREDIENTS for Cheesecake batter:
19 oz Cream Cheese (2 ½ packages)
1 Cup Sugar
1 Teaspoon Vanilla
2 Teaspoons grated lemon peel (optional)
INGREDIENTS for Cheesecake topping:
2 ½ Quarts Strawberries
1 Cup Sugar
2 Tablespoons Cornstarch
1 Cup Boiling Water
1 (3 oz) package of Strawberry flavored Gelatin (Jell-o)
Keep in mind that this is a basic cheesecake recipe and you can top it with pretty much anything you like. So if strawberries are not your thing you can use another berry or chocolate or caramel or whipped topping. Top with anything you like.
First crush your graham crackers. Crushing graham crackers can be really easy with this simple tip. Place graham crackers in a Ziploc bag and crush with a rolling pin. I always use my pastry pin which I love!
After refrigerating cheesecake top with strawberries. Cut the berries in the size that you desire. I cut mine in half or thirds depending on the berry size. Cover the top of your cheesecake with fresh cut berries. Time to make the gelatin berry topping. In a saucepan, mix together sugar and corn starch, until well blended. Add boiling water, and cook over medium heat until mixture thickens. Remove from heat. Add gelatin mix, and stir until smooth. Let mixture cool to room temperature.
It is a good idea to loosen the sides on the cheesecake in your springform pan before removing the sides of the pan for serving.