Chefs' Recipes

Curtis Stone’s strawberry and almond cheesecake

"I've made all kinds of fancy cheesecakes in my time, but nothing really beats the classic combination of strawberries and almonds with a boost from vanilla bean," says Stone.
William Meppem
25M
1H 10M
1H 35M

“I’ve made all kinds of fancy cheesecakes in my time, but nothing really beats the classic combination of strawberries and almonds with a boost from vanilla bean,” says Stone. “I could just pile macerated strawberries on top, but why not give your tastebuds a proper party by folding grilled strawberries into the cheesecake batter too? Cheesecakes are elegant and my go-to for celebrations because they taste best when whipped up a day in advance.”

Ingredients

Method

Main

1.Preheat a grill to high. Thinly slice 300gm strawberries, toss in a bowl with 55gm sugar, then spread in a single layer in a roasting pan and grill until softened and juices are bubbling (8-10 minutes).
2.Preheat oven to 155C and lightly butter a 23cm-diameter springform cake tin. Process biscuits in a food processor to very fine crumbs, add butter, 2 tbsp sugar and a pinch of salt, and pulse until crumbs are moistened. Press crumb mixture evenly onto base and up sides of tin and bake until crust is a shade darker (7-8 minutes). Cool on a rack, then wrap 3 layers of foil around the outside of the pan (to prevent water seeping in during baking). Crust can be baked up to a day ahead, wrapped tightly with plastic wrap and stored at room temperature.
3.Pulse vanilla seeds and 165gm sugar in a food processor to combine, add cream cheese and almond extract, and blend until smooth, scraping down sides of bowl occasionally. Add eggs and pulse until smooth, then transfer to a large bowl and fold in grilled strawberries. Pour mixture into crust, place pan in a large roasting pan and pour in enough hot water to come halfway up sides of tin. Bake until filling sets around edges and centre has a slight wobble when jiggled (50-55 minutes). Remove pan from water and cool on a rack for 2 hours. Run a sharp knife around edge of cheesecake to loosen from tin, cover loosely with plastic wrap and refrigerate until thoroughly chilled (at least 8 hours). Cheesecake can be baked up to 2 days ahead and kept covered and refrigerated.
4.Cut remaining strawberries in half, toss in a large bowl with lemon juice and remaining sugar then stand, tossing occasionally, until berries release their juices (25-30 minutes). Pile onto cheesecake and serve.

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