5 (8 oz.) packages cream cheese, over room temperature
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
5 large eggs, at room temperature
1 cup sour cream
2 teaspoons grated lemon zest
1 ½ (16 oz.) packages fresh small strawberries, hulled
¼ cup sugar
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 teaspoons cornstarch
Make cheesecake: Place a rack in middle of the oven as you preheat it up to 325°F. Butter a 9-inch spring form pan.
Stir together 1/4 cup sugar, crumbs and butter. Press into the bottom of the pan. Bake for solid 15 minutes. Use a wire rack to cool. Wrap using two sheets of aluminum foil outside of the pan.
Mix 1 cup of sugar and flour. Beat the cream cheese until it becomes fluffy and light. Add vanilla and sugar mixture; beat until everything is blended. Add the eggs one at a time, beating after each. Mix in lemon zest and sour cream.
Transfer batter to springform pan; then put it in a roasting pan. Pour hot water into the roasting pan until it reaches 2 inches deep. Bake until it’s set but still a bit jiggly in center, 1 hour and 40 minutes. Take it out of the oven and put the springform pan on rack to cool. When it is cool, run a sharp knife around the edge. Refrigerate after removing the foil, loosely covered, for 8 hours.
Make topping: 1 1/2 hours before serving, line 1 box of strawberries with pointed ends up on top of cheesecake. Slice the remaining berries. Bring sliced berries, lemon juice and sugar to a boil using a saucepan over medium heat. Dissolve cornstarch in 2 tsp. water. Cook after stirring cornstarch into berry mixture, keep stirring until it’s thickened, 1 minute. Strain mixture with a fine strainer over a bowl, pressing on solids. Discard solids; let glaze cool. Brush berries with glaze. Refrigerate cake for 1 hour. Enjoy!!