If you mention strawberries I wouldn’t necessarily say cheesecake. I must admit I was never a big fan of cheesecake. I don’t know what it is, too much cheese for my taste maybe and very often huge slices that I feel I can never finish.
But when your husband comes back from a work trip to Michoacan and brings you these wonderful looking strawberries, you have to start looking for options.
Michoacan is the number one state in the production of strawberries in Mexico and the quality is outstanding. During harvest, that can extend from November to August depending on the type of crop, you can find people selling 5 kg baskets on the highway for little money. I remember one time on our way back home from Michoacan, stopping on the highway and although having a full car, ending up carrying on my lap a 5 kg strawberry basket all the way back to Mexico City! This time my husband managed to put a few boxes in his hand luggage since he was travelling by plane and I was left to use them as I see fit.
Recently arrived from Lisbon, my city, and having bought yet more cooking books, I remembered seeing a cheesecake recipe with strawberries. I questioned if I really wanted to do that but then realized I could easily make thinner and smaller slices and make it lower in fat content as well.
It is hard to explain how good it is, it certainly made me want to bake more cheesecakes. The oatmeal cookies made a perfect crunchy base, the softness of the low fat cream cheese and cream was well balanced with the eggs and the sugar. The lemon provided a most needed acidity to cut a bit the sweetness. And the wonderful strawberries just made the perfect cover. I asked two friends to give me their honest feedback and they were really impressed by how tasty it was. My husband and daughter complained there was too little left for them and how unfair that was. I loved it too!
So here it is, the great Lisbon cheesecake inspired by the city where it was thought of and complemented with the excellent strawberries of the beautiful state of Michoacan.
Lisbon Strawberry Cheesecake
(adapted from a recipe by Patricia Furtado)
- 1 package oatmeal cookies (mine had around 200 gr/7 oz)
- 50 g/1.7 oz butter, melted
- 50 g/1.7 oz brown sugar
- 400 g/14 oz light cream cheese
- 150 g/5.3 oz sugar
- 200 ml/6.7 fl oz light cream
- 3 eggs
- 1 lemon, juice
- 2 cups strawberries (If you want a thicker cover use 3 to 4 cups)
- 80 g/2.8 oz sugar
- Preheat the oven to 200ºC/400ºF. Line the removable bottom of a 28 cm/11 inches tart pan with parchment paper. I used a silicon pan with a ceramic removable plate.
- Melt the butter. In an electric blender, grind the oatmeal cookies roughly. Add them to a bowl with the butter and sugar and mix until well combined. Take the batter and spread it all over the bottom of the pan. Press very well with the help of a spoon or the bottom of a glass covering every inch in a uniform way. Bake in the oven for 10 minutes or until it turns golden. Remove and let it cool down.
- In an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese with the sugar. Add the cream, the eggs, and the lemon juice. Mix at low speed until combined. Pour the batter over the baked cookie base. Bake for 15 minutes at 200ºC/400ºF and then lower the temperature to 100ºC/200ºF and let it bake for another 15 minutes. The center of the cheesecake should still be wobbly and shaking when you move the pan.
- Switch off the oven, open the door slightly and let the cheesecake cool down inside to room temperature. Chill in the fridge for at least 4 hours or preferably overnight.
- Blend the strawberries with the sugar and spread it over the cheesecake. Enjoy!
If you want to try another great Portuguese recipe:
And if you are wondering about the origin of the strawberries and the beautiful state they come from maybe these stories may also interest you: