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Strawberry Strawberry Cheesecake

Servings: 12
If you love strawberries, this is the cheesecake for you. This colorful and delicious cheesecake combines pureed strawberries with cream cheese for the cake, and strawberry jelly (unless using currant jelly), and fresh strawberries for the topping. A very yummy recipe, indeed!

For The Crust:
1 (10-ounce) package shortbread cookies (such as Lorna Doone)
5 tablespoons (2 1/2 oz./70g) unsalted butter, melted

For The Filling:
10 ounces frozen unsweetened strawberries (about 2 3/4 cups), thawed, juices reserved
3 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
3 large eggs
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon almond extract

For The Topping:
1/3 cup strawberry or currant jelly
3 (1-pint) baskets fresh strawberries, hulled, cut in halves lengthwise

For Crust:
Preheat oven to 325 degrees F/160 degrees C. Butter a round 9-inch springform pan with 2 3/4-inch-high sides.

Grind cookies in food processor to coarse crumbs. Add butter and blend until crumbs are evenly moistened. Press crumb mixture over bottom and 1 inch up sides of prepared pan. Bake crust until just golden, about 8 minutes. Set aside while preparing filling. Maintain oven temperature.

For Filling:
Puree thawed strawberries and juices in processor until smooth. Measure 3/4 cup puree (reserve any remaining puree for another use); do not wash bowl. Add cream cheese and sugar to processor. Blend until smooth. Using on/off turns, blend in flour. Add eggs; process until smooth, scraping down sides of bowl occasionally. Add 3/4 cup strawberry puree, lemon juice, vanilla extract, and almond extract; process until well blended. Transfer filling to prepared crust.

Bake cake in preheated oven until center is softly set and edges begin to color, puff and crack, about 1 hour 15 minutes. Place hot cheesecake on rack. Refrigerate uncovered on rack until cold, at least 4 hours. (Can be made 2 days ahead. Cover and keep refrigerated.)

For Topping:
Using small knife, cut around pan sides to loosen cake; remove pan sides. Stir jelly in heavy saucepan over low heat until melted. Arrange berry halves atop cheesecake in concentric circles; brush with warm jelly to glaze. Chill at least 1 hour and up to 8 hours.

Makes 12 servings.

Source: Bon Apetit Magazine -March 2002