This Is THE Taste Of Summer

Photographed by Claudia Ficca.
This strawberry cheesecake recipe comes from someone who I admire hugely — Sara Ziff. Sara is the opposite of me, because she is tireless. She started the Model Alliance, has made two documentaries, has passed legislation in NY State (something paid politicians have a hard time doing), and now, she’s attending Harvard's Kennedy School of Government, so that she can fully take over the world. If she runs for president one day (Ziff 2032!), I would not be surprised, and I’ll be able to tell my future family about that time the President of the U.S.A. set time aside time from her insanely busy life and cooked a cheesecake for me share on my blog (now that’s a good #tbt!).

Sara Ziff’s Strawberry Cheesecake

For the crust:
15 Graham crackers, crushed
5 tbsp butter, melted

For the cheesecake:
1 lb cream cheese, softened
1 lb ricotta cheese
1 1/2 cups white sugar
4 eggs
2 tbsp butter, melted
3 tbsp whole wheat flour
3 tbsp cornstarch
2 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups sour cream

For the topping:
1 box of strawberries
4 tbsp strawberry preserves

Related: Sour Cream Pancakes That Will Make Your Mouth Water

1. Preheat oven to 350°F and set aside a roasting pan with high sides.

2. First, you need to seal the bottom of your springform pan with tin foil. The goal is to get it tight. Place your pan in the middle of about one foot of tin foil and gently fold up the sides around the bottom of the pan.

3. Crimp the top of the foil around the top edge of the pan. Repeat one or two more times until the bottom of the springform pan is fully sealed. (Be careful not to make any holes in the tin foil!)

4. In a medium bowl, mix graham cracker crumbs with melted butter. Press into bottom of 9-inch springform pan.

5. Beat the cream cheese, ricotta cheese, and sugar in a large mixing bowl with an electric mixer until well combined. Beat in the eggs, one by one. Add the butter, flour, cornstarch, and vanilla extract; mix until well combined. Fold in the sour cream. Pour the mixture over the crust into the pan.

6. Place your springform pan into the roasting pan.

7. Bring about 2 quarts of water to a boil. When water is boiling, pour it into the roasting pan until it reaches about halfway up the springform pan. Carefully move into your preheated oven and cook for 1 1/2 hours.

8. Then, turn off the heat and leave the cheesecake in the oven for another hour. Remove from the oven and let it cool. Run a thin spatula around the edge of the cheesecake before opening the pan.

9. Spread a layer of strawberry preserves on the top of the cake. Clean and stem strawberries, place them on top of the cake.

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