A vanilla cheesecake paired with cherries, strawberries, or other fruit is a classic combination to balance out the richness. Rather than pile the cheesecake high with fruit, consider putting part of the fruit in the filling. In the following recipe, we’ll show you how to make a fruit cheesecake with fruit in the filling and as a topping for the cheesecake.
A Fruit-Filled Cheesecake Sample
The following recipe shows how to put fruit into the cheesecake as well as onto it as a topping. We used strawberries for this fruit cheesecake, but of course, you can use raspberries, blueberries, peaches, mangoes, or other fruit for the topping.
The recipe uses fresh strawberries but frozen strawberries and fruits work as well. We made this cheesecake with graham cracker crumbs; a nut crumb crust and a crust made from crushed vanilla wafers would pair well also.
You will need a nine or ten-inch springform pan for this recipe. The cheesecake pictured was baked and served in a nine-inch glass-base springform pan.
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Strawberry Vanilla Cheesecake
For the crust
- 2 cups crushed graham crackers
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 5 tablespoons butter, melted
For the filling
- 3 8-ounce packages of cream cheese, softened
- 3 large eggs
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon flour
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1/4 cup whipping cream
For the topping
- 3 cups fresh or frozen strawberries
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1/4 cup sugar (omit if using sweetened, frozen berries)
- 1 tablespoons cornstarch
- 2-3 drops of red food coloring
- 1 cup of fresh or individually frozen berries, cleaned and hulled
- (use whole or if preferred, cut into smaller pieces)
- Crush the graham crackers. Mix the crumbs with the cinnamon, sugar, and melted butter in a nine or ten-inch springform pan. Press the mixture into a crust across the bottom of the pan and up the sides. Put the crust in the refrigerator to set up while you prepare the filling and the topping.
- Make the topping. Puree the strawberries in a blender with the lemon juice. You should have about 1 1/2 cups of purée. If you would like to remove the seeds, run the puree through a sieve. Place the puree in a small saucepan. Add the sugar, food coloring, and cornstarch. Cook over medium heart, stirring often, until thickened and bubbly. Set aside to cool.
- Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Mix the cream cheese with the paddle attachment of your stand-type mixer set at medium speed until smooth and creamy, scraping the bowl once. Slowly add the sugar, flour, salt, vanilla, and whipping cream one at a time making sure the batter is smooth before adding the next ingredient. Scrape the sides of the bowl as needed. Add eggs one at a time until smooth. Do not over beat. Too much air in the filling will cause the cake to sink and crack.
- Pour one half of the cream cheese filling into the crust. Spoon about 2/3’s of the strawberry sauce onto the filling then spoon the remaining cream cheese over the strawberry sauce. Refrigerate the remaining sauce.
- Bake for 40 to 45 minutes or until the top just starts to turn golden and the center of the cake is just barely jiggly.
- Let the cake cool in the pan on a wire rack for ten minutes. Run a knife around the edge of the pan to loosen. Remove the ring and let the cheesecake cool completely. Refrigerate for several hours.
- To serve, stir the berries into the remaining sauce and spoon over the cheesecake.
(Updated from May 11, 2014)