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Company Cheesecake

Summer is here in the United States and with it comes almost weekly Bar-B-Que cookouts with the big ones on Memorial Day, Independence Day and Labor Day.

When I was growing up I didn’t like cheesecake. I loved and still love cream cheese and my family never understood why I didn’t like cheesecake. The main ingredient in cheesecake is cream cheese. I love cream cheese but I have learned throughout the years that all cream cheese are not alike. We have our major brand and our store brands. I never realized the difference a name can make. Some are creamy and some are pasty and dry. When using all of the same ingredients, some will mix silky smooth and some have little lumps. then there is the “no-bake” Cheesecake, and some of those come out with the consistency of jello and some like pudding. I am pretty sure this is what I didn’t like growing up. It just amazes me all of the different textures for one simple desert.

About 30 years ago when I met my husband, we went to his families Memorial Day Bar-B-Que and they could not believe that I didn’t like cheesecake. To them this was unheard of. This was unacceptable and they were relentless in trying to get me to try “the best cheesecake ever” and guaranteed I have not tried this one. So, after much persuasion, I looked at their cheesecake with these large red strawberries covered in red strawberry glaze. I immediately thought, well those strawberries sure look yummy, if anything it would mask the taste of the cheesecake.

I absolutely Loved it! Not only were the strawberries yummy, but the cheesecake was so creamy. Not silky, not pasty.. but creamy. I had to have the recipe! They all warned me to make it exactly as directed and told me not to cheat! So of course the first time I made it I didn’t even realize I was cheating. It says “one egg at a time” and I put all 3 in there. To this day I have no idea how it makes a difference, but let me tell you it does. 30 years later and I have never heard anything but good about this cheesecake.

If you try this recipe, please come back and leave me a comment with your experience.

Company Cheesecake

# 2 packages plus 3 oz of Philadelphia cream cheese softened

# 1 cup of granulated sugar

# 1 tsp lemon juice

# 1/4 tsp vanilla

# 3 eggs – one at a time

# Graham Cracker Crust

# 1 pint of whole strawberries

# 1 container of T Marzetti Strawberry Glaze

Place softened cream cheese in a bowl and mix until creamy. Add sugar, lemon juice and vanilla and mix well. Add eggs one at a time mixing well between each one.

Pour into the graham cracker crust and bake for 1 hour at 350 degrees or until firm. Let cool. You do not want it to crack on top. It will be ok if it does, but better if it does not.

Spread a light coat of the glaze over the top of the cheesecake ( so the strawberries stay in place) Cut the tops off of the strawberries and place them cut side down until cheesecake is covered. Pour the strawberry glaze over the top until covered. Cut, serve and enjoy. If you have any leftovers, keep refrigerated.

Recipe by: Dawn Munday, Umatilla, FL

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