4cups(about 24oz) hulled and chopped fresh strawberries
⅔cup(132g) granulated sugar
1teaspoonlemon juicefresh or bottled is fine
2tablespoons(16g) cornstarch whisked together with 2 tablespoons water
Graham Cracker Crust
Clear enough space in your freezer for your pie pan to fit while the crust chills.
In a medium bowl, combine graham cracker crumbs, powdered sugar, butter, and cinnamon. Stir until well combined.
Set aside 3 tablespoons of the crumb mixture to use as topping later.
Pour remaining crumb mixture into your pie pan and press into a firm layer. Chill crust in the freezer while you make the custard layer.
Preheat your oven to 375°F.
In a large bowl, combine softened cream cheese, well-beaten eggs, sugar, vanilla, and salt, and beat until well-combined.
Pour into the chilled crust.
Bake for about 20 minutes, until outer edges of the cheesecake look set, but the center of the cheesecake is still slightly shiny and jiggles when gently shaken. Remove from oven.
Let cool to mostly room temperature, 30 minutes to 1 hour.
Sour Cream Top
Preheat your oven to 425°F.
In a small bowl, mix sour cream, sugar, vanilla, and salt. Pour over the cooled cheesecake and smooth into an even layer
Bake for 5 minutes, until top looks glazed and shiny. Remove from oven, sprinkle with reserved crust mixture. Let cheesecake cool at room temperature for at least 20 minutes, and then refrigerate for 6 to 12 hours before serving.
Homemade Strawberry Sauce
In a medium saucepan, combine chopped strawberries, sugar, water, lemon juice, and cornstarch/water slurry. Stir and bring to a simmer.
Keep at a simmer (adjusting temperature as necessary), stirring often until thickened and syrupy, about 4 to 6 minutes. Watch very closely to make sure it doesn't bubble over!
Chill before serving.
*The quickest way to make graham cracker crumbs is to use a food processor, but if you don't own one, you can use a large plastic bag and a rolling pin.*If using unsalted butter, add ⅛ teaspoon salt to the crust.*You ABSOLUTELY must start with softened/room temperature cream cheese. Cream cheese that is too cold will not completely meld with the other ingredients, and you'll end up with lumps in the finished cheesecake.If making for an event or special occasion, make sure to give yourself enough time to bake and chill the cheesecake. It requires at least 6 hours to set, so it's best to make it the night before when possible.