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Strawberry Cheesecake with Pretzel Crust

Strawberry Cheesecake with Pretzel Crust

Ingredients
  

  • 2 cups ground pretzels
  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) melted butter
  • 4 8 oz packages cream cheese softened to room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 pint strawberries leaves removed and thinly sliced

Instructions
 

  • Place the pretzels into a food processor and pulse until very fine, like coarse sand. Combine the ground pretzels with the melted butter and press in the inside of a 9" springform pan. Press all over the bottom and up to 1" up the sides of the pan. Use a measuring cup to flatten the crust and really pack it tightly.
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 1 minute. Add the sugar and continue to beat for another minute. With the mixer running on low, add the lemon zest, flour, and vanilla. Then add the eggs one at a time, waiting until each has incorporated into the mixture to add the next. The mixture should be smooth and custard-like.
  • Pour the cheesecake batter into the prepared springform pan. Bake in an oven heated at 325 degrees Fahrenheit on the middle rack for about 55 minutes, or until the edges are slightly golden and the center wobbles only a bit. Remove and let cool to room temperature, then refrigerate until cool (overnight is great).
  • Layer the sliced strawberries in a circular fashion like the photographs, or however you would like. Cover tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate if you're not using the whole cake after the initial decoration. If the strawberries have plastic wrap on top of them, they'll retain their moisture and form well for a day or two in the refrigerator.

Notes

  • Cheesecakes are notorious for cracking, so don't be disheartened if yours develops one as well. Simply use the sliced strawberries to cover any imperfections.