1-1/4 cups Graham cracker crumbs (300 ml)
1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted (50 ml)
4 packages (each 8 ounces/250 g) cream cheese/softened paneer
1-1/4 cups granulated sugar (300 ml)
3 tbsp fresh lemon juice (45 ml)
1 tsp vanilla essence (5 ml)
1/2 cup sour cream (125 ml)
1/4 cup granulated sugar (50 ml)
1 tbsp fresh lemon juice (15 ml)
1/2 tsp vanilla essence (2 ml)
2 cups fresh strawberries, sliced (500 ml)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F./180 degrees C. Prepare pan: 9-inch (23 cm) cheesecake pan, ungreased, or springform pan with 3-inch (7.5 cm) sides, greased.
In a medium bowl, combine Graham cracker crumbs and butter. Press into bottom of cheesecake pan and freeze.
In a large mixer bowl, beat cream cheese and sugar on medium-high speed for 3 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, beating after each addition. Stir in lemon juice and vanilla essence. Pour over frozen crust. Bake in preheated oven for 45 to 55 minutes or until the top is light brown and the center has a slight jiggle to it. Cool on the counter for 10 minutes (do not turn the oven off). The cake will sink slightly.
In a small bowl, combine sour cream, sugar, lemon juice and vanilla essence. Pour into center of cooled cake and spread out to edges. Bake for 5 minutes more. Cool on a rack for 2 hours. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 6 hours before decorating.
Top with sliced strawberries when completely chilled.
• Zest lemons and limes before juicing and freeze the zest for another recipe.
• This cheese cake freezes well for up to 4 months before decorating. Defrost in the refrigerator the day prior to use and then decorate.
If fresh berries are not available, spread 1 cup (250 ml) strawberry preserves on top.
Yield: 10 to 12 servings