This strawberry cheesecake recipe has a gorgeously tender almond crust. It's perfect as a post-summer fling, given it whips up so easily with frozen strawberries. Sure, we're all fans of in-season fruit, but when you've got a few bags of strawberries in the freezer and you're feeling a little wistful at the chilly temperatures, why not enjoy a few bites of summertime when folks least expect it?
Prep Time 20minutes
Cook Time 2hours
Total Time 2hours20minutes
Author Stephanie Stiavetti
1 1/2-poundstrawberrieshalved, divided (if using frozen, defrost them)
1 1/2cupsalmond flour
2poundscream cheeseat room temperature
1cupcrème fraîcheat room temperature
3tablespoonsbutterat room temperature
3largeeggsat room temperature
3largeegg yolksat room temperature
2tablespoonslemon zest(from 1 large or 2 small lemons)
almondstoasted and chopped, for garnish
For the Topping
Place the oven rack in the middle of your oven and preheat to 275°F (135°C). Grease the sides and bottom of a 9-inch springform pan.
Spread berries on a baking sheet and sprinkle them with 3 tablespoons of sugar. Bake until the berries and sugar start to caramelize, about 1 hour. Watch them carefully after the first 30 minutes, removing them from the oven at any signs of burning (use your nose!). Once the berries are done, allow them to cool. Transfer the berries and all of their syrup to a food processor. Pulse until they have a coarsely chopped texture and set aside. Increase oven to 325°F (163°C).
Combine almond flour with melted butter and 1 tablespoon sugar, mixing well. Press firmly into the bottom of a 9-inch springform pan and bake for 10-15 minutes, until lightly browned. Remove from oven and allow to cool while preparing the rest of the cheesecake.
Set a large pot of water to boil on the stovetop. This will be for creating the water bath.
Add cream cheese, crème fraîche, and room temperature butter to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Beat on low speed until creamy and well mixed, about 1 minute. With the mixer running, slowly pour in the remaining 1 1/4 cups of sugar, beating until smooth and creamy, about 2 minutes.
Increase mixer speed to medium-low. Add the eggs one at a time, beating until each is fully incorporated before adding the next one. Add egg yolks all at once, again beating until completely mixed. Add almond extract, flour, salt, and lemon zest, beating for another 30 seconds. Stop the mixer and fold in the strawberries with a spatula.
If you are using a springform pan or other cake pan with a removable bottom, securely wrap the bottom and sides of the pan in aluminum foil—large sheets of commercial foil work well for this, as they enrobe the entire pan with one sheet, preventing anything from leaking in or out. See recipe notes for a particularly effective way to prevent leaks.
Pour the batter into the prepared springform pan. Firmly rap the pan on a counter a few times to release any air bubbles. Allow the batter to rest for 5 minutes, then rap a few more times to force out any bubbles that were hiding deeper in the batter.
Place the cake pan in a large roasting pan and fill the roasting pan with enough boiling water to come halfway up the sides of the cake pan. Slide the roasting pan into the oven and bake until center is barely set but still jiggles when shaken, about 90 minutes. The cake should start pulling away from the sides. Carefully remove the cake pan from the roasting pan and set it on a cooling rack. Allow the cake to cool in the pan for 3 hours.
Once the cake is cool, release it from the sides of the springform pan. Slide the cake into the refrigerator and chill for 2 to 3 hours. Slice and serve, garnished with a spoonful of the strawberry topping and a sprinkling of chopped toasted almonds.
For the Strawberry Topping:
Combine chopped strawberries with sugar and toss until well mixed. Let sit for 30 minutes. If you want a smoother sauce, pulse a few times in the food processor.