Thursday, March 11, 2010

Strawberry Shortcake Cheesecake

I grew up in the Midwest on a large beef cattle farm. In the summers, our family raised strawberries for extra income. People would travel long distances just to purchase our berries from our rustic roadside stand! 

My brothers and sisters and I would pick strawberries to earn extra spending money in the summers. One of our favorite pastimes (and how we sometimes spent the extra income we had earned picking strawberries) was riding our bicycles to the small nearby village swimming pool, where we would often spend the lazy summer afternoons.

This fluffy, creamy strawberry cheesecake is also chewy, with a cookie-like shortbread crust. An unusual take on cheesecake!

2 large eggs, room temperature
¾ cup sugar
1½ t. GF vanilla extract
1 cup GF flour blend
½ t. baking powder
¼ t. salt

2 pints of fresh, ripe strawberries; organic if possible, washed, stemmed, cut into fourths and lightly mashed (set aside a few sliced, unmashed berries for  top garnish, if desired.)
¼ cup powdered sugar, optional

Cheesecake Filling:
1 envelope Knox unflavored gelatin
½ cup sugar
1 cup boiling water
2-8 ounce packages GF cream cheese, softened
1 t. GF vanilla extract

Pre-heat oven to 350˚F.

Shortcake Crust:
Beat eggs and sugar until creamy. Mix in vanilla. Sift together the dry ingredients; mix into the egg-sugar-vanilla mixture and blend. Spread onto the bottom of an oiled 10 inch spring form pan and bake for approximately 20 minutes until golden brown. Set aside to cool.

Cheesecake: Mix gelatin and sugar in a small bowl; add boiling water and stir until gelatin completely dissolves, about 5 minutes. Beat cream cheese and vanilla in a large bowl with mixer until smooth; slowly beat in gelatin mixture.

Take the gently mashed strawberries (powdered sugar may be mixed into the strawberries at this point), including juice, and gently spread onto shortcake crust.

Pour cheesecake mixture over the strawberries and place in refrigerator, allowing the cheesecake to set for about 3 hours.

Garnish with remaining strawberries, if desired, and serve.

Makes: Approximately 12 slices of cheesecake.

This recipe is from my first cookbook:
"Delicious! The Very Best of Gluten Free and Wheat Free Cooking;
A Home Style Recipe Collection for Celiacs & Wheat Sensitive Folks
available from my website 

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