CHEESECAKE WITH MACERATED STRAWBERRY SAUCE
½ cup butter, melted
1 ½ cups graham cracker crumbs
½ teaspoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon nutmeg
4, 8 ounce bars cream cheese, softened
½ cup sour cream
3 teaspoon vanilla
1 ¼ cups sugar
5 large eggs
2 pounds fresh strawberries, hulled and sliced
¼ cup sugar
1 tablespoon Gran Mariner liqueur
1 tablespoon water
To make the crust, combine the melted butter, graham cracker crumbs, cinnamon, and nutmeg in a medium bowl and mix until well combined. Place the crumbs in a parchment-lined 9-10” springform pan (trace the bottom of the pan on parchment paper with a pencil and cut out the circle and place in the bottom of the pan).
Press the crumbs evenly all over the bottom of the pan (on the paper and about 1” up the sides of the pan. Wrap the pan in a large piece of foil that comes at least 2” up the sides (this will keep the water bath in the oven from leaking in). Place the pan in the freezer so crust can set while you make the filling).
Combine the cream cheese, sour cream, vanilla, and sugar in a large bowl and beat with an electric mixer until smooth and creamy. Whisk the eggs in a separate bowl and then add to the cream cheese mixture and beat on medium low until just combined and smooth. Pour this mixture into the frozen crust. Gently, but firmly tap the pan on the counter several times to help release any air bubbles from the filling (air will cause cracking during baking). Place the pan in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours and up to overnight to rest.
Preheat oven to 475 degrees. Place a large pan, big enough to hold your springform pan, with ½” of water in the bottom in the oven.
Tap the springform pan on the counter again several times gently, but firmly to remove any additional air bubbles.
Place the pan into the water bath in the oven and bake for 12 minutes. Without opening the oven door, reduce the heat to 350 degrees and cook for an additional 40-50 minutes until the cheesecake is set and lightly browned on top. Remove from oven and cool on a wire rack. When cool enough to handle, remove the foil. Let cool to room temperature and place in the refrigerator for 2-3 hours to cool completely.
Combine the strawberries, sugar, Gran Mariner, and water in a large bowl and let sit on the counter for 2-3 hours or in the refrigerator overnight. Stir occasionally to keep berries marinating and juices forming.
Serve cold cheesecake topped with berries and DEVOUR!