Cheesecake is the best dessert. Fight us.
But too often, cheesecake is bad. Why is it bad? Because it’s far too complicated, far too sweet, and far too dense. Nobody needs that noise.
This is a great cheesecake. It’s simple and creamy, perfectly balancing sweet and tart, looks beautiful, and stars a combination of flavors you probably haven’t had before. Perfect for a summer dinner party or for eating alone in bed in the morning.
The low-key star of this cheesecake is guava paste, which comes in blocks or tins, and you can find in many supermarkets or any Mexican specialty market.
Graham Cracker Crust
- 12 whole graham crackers, broken into pieces (or 1.5 cups graham cracker crumbs)
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 8 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
Preheat oven to 325.
Lightly butter a 9-inch springform pan. Finely grind graham crackers and sugar in a food processor (skip step if using graham cracker crumbs). Put dry ingredients into a bowl and mix in the melted butter. Press crumbs onto bottom and 2 inches up sides of prepared pan. Refrigerate for about 20 minutes while you make the filling.
Guava Cheesecake Filling
- 24 oz. cream cheese
- 8 oz. guava paste, cut into pieces
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 3 eggs
Using an electric mixer, beat cream cheese, guava paste, and sugar in large bowl until smooth. Beat eggs into cream cheese mixture. Transfer filling to crust-lined springform pan.
In the oven, place a baking pan full of water on the bottom shelf underneath the cheesecake pan. (Tip: the water creates steam, which helps the cake to bake evenly.) Bake until edges of filling are puffed and dry-looking and center is just set, about 50 minutes. Cool on rack.
- 2 cup strawberries (fresh or frozen)
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 2 tablespoons water
- 4 oz. guava paste, cut into pieces
- 1/4 cup elderflower liqueur (we used St. Elder)
Place strawberries, water, and sugar in a saucepan on low-medium heat to reduce, stirring occasionally when needed. Mash the strawberries while stirring to help them break down. Once the strawberries have mostly turned into a thin syrup, add in the guava pieces and elderflower liqueur and cook until sauce is thickened and liqueur is reduced, about 10 minutes. When the sauce is thick, take off heat and cool.
Once both the cake and sauce are cool, pour topping onto cake and place into the fridge. Refrigerate until well chilled, about 6 hours (can be prepared 1 day ahead). Garnish with seasonal berries.