Vodka Infused Strawberry Cheesecake

Vodka infused strawberries feature in this delightful Eastern European cheesecake.

Vodka Infused Strawberry Cheesecake
For the vodka infused strawberries
  • 100 ml vodka
  • 1 tablespoon caster sugar
  • 1 vanilla bean (or 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste)
  • 400g fresh strawberries, quartered and pierced all over with a fork
For the cheesecake base
  • 300g digestive biscuits, crumbled (or graham cracker crumbs)
  • pinch of salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 150g unsalted butter, melted
  • extra butter, for greasing
For the cheesecake filling
  • 500g cream cheese
  • 375 ml double cream
  • 1 lemon, juice and zest only
  • 200g caster sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
  • 50g cornflour (cornstarch)
  • 5 large eggs, beaten
To garnish
  • 100g strawberry jam
  • 200g fresh strawberries, halved
  • whipped cream, to serve
  1. For the vodka strawberries, pour the vodka into a large bowl, add the sugar and vanilla bean paste. Stir in the strawberries and leave to infuse for about 4 hours.
  2. Preheat the oven to 180°C. Generously butter a deep 23cmn springform tin.
  3. Meanwhile break the biscuits into crumbs in a food processor, or put them in a bag and bash with a rolling pin. Mix in the salt and cinnamon. Then add the melted butter. Stir well and pack evenly into the prepared baking tin. Bake in the oven for 10 minutes. Leave to cool.
  4. In a bowl beat together the cream cheese, double cream, lemon juice and zest, caster sugar, vanilla bean paste, cornflour and eggs.
  5. Drain the vodka strawberries using a sieve, reserving the vodka strawberry juice. Fold the strawberries into the cheesecake mixture.
  6. Pour the mixture on top of the biscuit base. Cover the bottom of the baking tin with two layers of tin foil and place in a deep roasting tin. Pour in boiling water to come up to about 2cm of the cheesecake tin. Bake in the oven for 1 hour and 15 minutes, or until the cheesecake is browned in the top and cooked just solid. Set aside to cool completely, preferably overnight.
  7. Meanwhile, in a pan heat the strawberry jam. Add half of the vodka strawberry juice, and mix together. Leave to cool. With a pastry brush paint a coating of the vodka-infused jam onto the cheesecake and stick on the halved strawberries cut-side down in a lovely pattern. Leave in the fridge until ready to serve. Serve with whipped cream.

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