For the crust
¾ c      graham cracker crumbs (1 packet of crackers)
1 T       granulated sugar
1 T       unsalted butter, melted

For the Filling
1 ½ lb cream cheese, at room temperature
1c        granulated sugar
4          large eggs, at room temperature
1 t        pure vanilla extract

For the Strawberry Purée
2 ½ pt ripe strawberries
1 T       granulated sugar
1 t        fresh lemon juice


Preheat the oven to 375°F.

Mix together the graham cracker crumbs, sugar, and butter. Press the mixture evenly over the bottom of a 10-inch spring form pan.

Beat together the cream cheese, sugar, eggs, and vanilla until smooth. Then pour mixture over the crust. Tap the pan on the counter a few times to remove any air bubbles.

Bake for 35 minutes or until the filling is set.

Remove the cake from the oven and cool it in the pan on a rack. While the cake cools, prepare the topping.

Strawberry Purée
Wash, drain, and hull the strawberries.

Cut half the berries into quarters and set aside. Purée the remaining whole straw­berries with the sugar and lemon juice. Combine the quartered berries with the purée; taste and add a little more sugar or lemon juice, if necessary.

To Serve

Remove the side of the spring form pan. Slip a thin metal spatula between the cake and the pan bottom and slide the cake onto a serving platter. Cut the cake into wedges and serve with strawberry purée.

Cut cheesecake neatly and easily by choosing a knife with a thin blade.  Dip the blade in warm water and wipe it dry between cuts.