Strawberry Citrus Cheesecake

Accomplishments to celebrate for this spring... I made my first cheesecake! Yes, very first. Don't ask me how this is possible. I truly do not know.

Wait, yes I do. I cannot possibly eat an entire cheesecake by myself, and my little vegan boyfriend would be no help at all.

Don't get me wrong, I have made many a vegan cheesecake! But this particular one, intended for a sweet friend and his girlfriend for their anniversary, was chock-full of fatty cream cheese and eggs and butter. A true first.

I used this Smitten Kitchen recipe to work from: New York Style Cheesecake. Super simple, aside from the fact that the recipe calls for you to bake this sucker at 550 degrees. My home oven only goes to 500. Buuuuut she does detail some thoughts on messing with the temperature and cooking times, so I followed her advice. And honestly, I had no issues! Came out beautiful as can be.

I made my own sauce for the top - a mixture of fresh strawberries (12-14 oz), sugar (3-4 T), freshly squeezed lemon/lime juice (1/4 c), corn starch (1T mixed w 1T cold water) and lime zest (1 tsp). Just boil this all in a pot, stirring now and again, until the strawberries start to break down a bit. All that citrus does very important work counteracting the richness of the totally over-the-top (and totally worth it) filling.

What I learned most resoundingly is that I don't know why I waited so long on the cheesecake front! I'm considering experimenting with a half or quarter-size variation. Will keep you posted.