So let's get to it! Here is the recipe:
Ingredients for the Cheesecake Crust:
- 2 cups of graham cookie crumbs (or chocolate 'Oreo' cookie crumbs - it's up to you)
- 1/3 cup of butter, melted
- 1/3 cup of granulated raw cane sugar (or regular granulated sugar or organic coconut sugar, depending on your preference)
- 3 cups of strawberries
- 1 cup of granulated raw cane sugar (again, you can use regular or coconut sugar)
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tbsp. corn starch mixed with 1 tbsp. of water
- 2 packages of cream cheese
- 2/3 cup sugar
- 1 tsp real vanilla extract
- 1 tsp ground vanilla beans (or the scrapings from 1 vanilla bean pod)
- 3 eggs
- 1 500 ml container of sour cream
To Make the Pie:
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- If you do not have a favourite pie crust recipe, follow my favourite one here.
- Line a 6" to 8" pie or tart pan with parchment paper (grease under the parchment to make it stick to the pan and on it). Place a round of crust in the bottom of pan and up the sides (trim if there is excess, but leave it high enough to attach to a top crust).
- Pre-bake the bottom layer of the pie crust for about 5 to 10 minutes before adding the filling.
- In a medium bowl, mix together the strawberries, sugar, cinnamon and cornstarch/water mixture.
- Pour into the pie shell.
- Top the pie filling with a top layer of pie crust and poke holes in it.
- Brush on an egg wash (1 egg yolk mixed with 2 tbsp. of cream or milk) to get a crisp crust.
- Bake for 40 to 45 minutes until the pie is bubbling and the crust is lightly browned.
- Take out of the oven and let cool on a cooling rack while preparing the cheesecake crust and batter.
Make the Cheesecake Crust:
- Prepare an 8" Springform pan by lining it with parchment paper and then grease it with butter or lard.
- In a medium bowl, mix together the graham cookie crumbs and the melted butter with a spoon. Toss in the sugar and stir until combined. Press it into the prepared springform pan in a thick coating on the bottom and slightly up the sides.
- Place it on a cookie sheet (to catch any dripping butter) and bake in the 350 degree F preheated oven for 12 minutes until crisp and edges are just starting to brown.
- Take out and let cool while you prepare the cheesecake batter.
Make the Cheesecake Batter:
- Remove the packaging from the cream cheese and then soften it in the microwave for 10 to 20 seconds.
- Beat with an electric mixer or stand mixer on medium-to-high until soft and lightly whipped (you need to stir in the bottom with a spatula a few times to ensure no lumps).
- Slowly add in the sugar and again stir in the bottom bits to remove any lumps. Whip until softened and fluffy.
- Add the vanilla extract and vanilla bean and mix.
- Add one egg at a time and mix on medium, fully stirring with a spatula between each addition.
- Once fully mixed and lump free, mix in the sour cream on low or medium just until combined.
Assemble and Bake the PIECAKEN:
- Pour about a 1/2 to 3/4 inch of batter onto the crust.
- Flip your pie upside-down into the centre of the cake pan (this is easiest, but you might want the pie to be right-side up when you slice the cake, so extract the pie carefully and place it on the batter in the centre of the cake pan).
- Pour the remaining cheesecake batter onto the pie and spread around and into the sides, ensuring there is enough to cover the pie. Fill right to the top of your springform pan. (If there is a little cheesecake batter leftover, you can make two mini cheesecakes in muffin tins baked at about 20 minutes in a 350 degree F preheated oven)
- Bake the PIECAKEN for 1 hour and 10 minutes (if your oven bakes hot, or is not a convection oven, be sure to turn the cake halfway through and bake on the centre rack of the oven, and check it at one hour - If cracking and browning, stop cooking at 1 hour).
- Take out the PIECAKEN, run a knife around the sides of the springform pan to prevent cracking, and then let cool. Once cooled (about 2 hours), refrigerate for another 2 hours before topping.
Top with a vanilla bean buttercream icing or whipped cream & fresh strawberries or a cooked strawberry topping (a cup of strawberries cooked on stovetop with a 1/3 cup of sugar and 1 tbsp. lemon juice for 15 minutes, let cool, then pour on cake).
Chill the cake and slice. Serve it cooled!
You can also freeze this cake, if need be.