Vanilla Wafer Crust
- 45 vanilla wafers, crushed(heaping 1-1/2 cup crumbs)
- 2tablespoons sugar
- 6tablespoons butter, melted
- 28 oz. blocks cream cheese, softened
- 2 eggs, room temperature
- 1 egg yolk, room temperature
- 1cup sugar
- 1cup sour cream
- 1teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2pounds strawberries, hulleddivided
- 1/2cup water
- 1/3cup sugar
- 1 1/2tablespoons cornstarch
- 1/8teaspoon salt
- 3tablespoons strawberry gelatin(powdered Jell-O)
- 2teaspoons lemon juice
Combine all of the ingredients in a medium bowl until crumbs are evenly moistened. Press evenly onto the bottom and up the sides of an ungreased 9-in. pie pan.
Bake at 350 degrees F for 10 minutes or until crust just begins to brown. Cool completely.
Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Beat cream cheese until very smooth, about 1 minute. Beat in sugar followed by eggs then egg yolk, one at a time until combined after each addition. Beat in sour cream and vanilla and beat until very creamy, about 1 minute. Pour filling over cooled crust.
Place the pie pan in a large roasting pan and add water until it reaches half way up the sides of the pie pan. Bake for 45 minutes at 325 degrees F. The cheesecake should still jiggle in the center (it will firm up after chilling), and the edges should be mostly set.
After 45 minutes, turn oven off and crack oven door open. Let cool in cracked oven for 30 minutes. Remove cheesecake from oven and let cool completely on a rack then chill in refrigerator for at least 4 hours, best if overnight.
While Cheesecake is baking, prepare Glazed Strawberries. Add 1 cup roughly chopped strawberries and 1/2 cup water to a blender and puree until smooth, scraping down sides as needed.
Add puree to a small saucepan along with cornstarch, sugar and a pinch of salt. Cook over medium high heat, stirring constantly, until thick enough to coat the back of a spoon, but not TOO thick or it will turn jello- like later.
Transfer to a large bowl and stir in strawberry gelatin and lemon juice. Let cool to room temperature. This will be your Strawberry Glaze.
Slice any extra large strawberries in half and add all remaining strawberries to cooled Strawberry Glaze and stir until evenly coated. Cover and refrigerate separately from cheesecake until ready to serve.
Assemble and Serve
When ready to serve, stir strawberries then use a slotted spoon (as strawberries will release juices as they chill) and spoon Strawberries over cheesecake and serve. Garnish with whipped cream if desired.