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Strawberry Cheesecake

Ingredients for crust:
50 vanilla wafers, ground down to powder
1 stick butter, softened

How to: mix the butter and crumbs and pour them into an oiled springform pan. Pat down evenly over bottom of pan. Cool in fridge for 15 minutes or so.

Ingredients for cheesecake:
3/4 lb cream cheese
1/4 lb neufchatel cheese
1 tsp each of: vanilla
lemon juice
almond extract
1 6 oz can sweetened condensed milk
1/4 cup honey
1/2 cup confectioner's sugar
1 small tub sour cream
2 eggs

How to: Mix it all up, reserving half of the honey. I pour mine into a regular old blender and pulse it for a good long time to get lots of air into the mix. The consistency should be akin to thick pancake batter, not too stiff. Doesn't have to be smooth but that doesn't hurt.
Pour the stuff into the springform pan, over the by-now-fridge-temp crust.
You'll want the oven to be set at 225 F. Place the pan on a cookie sheet for easy in and out action, cook for 2 1/2 to 3 hours. The top will be browned slightly and be a touch convex.
Once it's out, the top will fall a little. That's fine! Now you have somewhere to put the honey. Smear it on with your teaspoon.
Let the cake cool at room temperature until you can handle the pan with bare hands (let's say an hour). Then stick it in the freezer until ten minutes before serving. It'll be very firm and will portion easily.

Ingredients for the Topping:
8 oz strawberry glaze
1 lb fresh strawberries
pinch salt
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup honey
2 cups water

How to:
In a medium pot, boil the water and sugar. Stir occasionally, without reducing the heat, until mixture is syrupy (! it should be-it's simple syrup!)
Add the salt and honey, reducing the heat to medium. Dissolve and then pour in the strawberry glaze. Once that's dissolved, stir occasionally until mixture has the viscosity of motor oil (call it 40-weight).
Take the leafy tops off of the strawberries, slice them in half, wash them quickly under cool water, and add them to the mixture. The strawberries will turn dark pink when they're cooked. The white flesh will be light pink by then.
Turn off the burner, let the mixture set for 1/2 hour.

How to serve:
Slice the cake, pour the strawberry sauce over the top. Enjoy!


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