For the crust
1 1/2 cups (225 g) gluten free crunchy cookie crumbs
6 tablespoons (84 g) unsalted butter, melted
For the cheesecake filling
1 pound (16 ounces) frozen strawberries (or hulled fresh strawberries)
1/4 cup (2 fluid ounces) lukewarm water
1/2 cup (100 g) granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon (8 g) unflavored powdered gelatin*
1 cup (8 fluid ounces) heavy whipping cream, chilled
2 8-ounce packages (1 pound total) cream cheese, at room temperature
1/2 cup (58 g) confectioners’ sugar
Sliced fresh strawberries, for decorating (optional)
*If using Knox gelatin by the package, 1 package weighs 7 grams, which is enough for this recipe. No need to get all technical and open up a second package for 1 single gram more.
Make the crust. In a large bowl, mix the cookie crumbs and melted butter until well-combined. Press the mixture into the bottom and up the sides of a 9-inch springform pan or deep-dish pie plate. Place the pie plate in the freezer until firm (at least 10 minutes, but longer is fine).
Make the strawberry puree filling. In a medium-size, heavy-bottom saucepan, place the frozen strawberries, 2 tablespoons (1 fluid ounce) of the lukewarm water, granulated sugar and 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring frequently, until the strawberries are very soft and the mixture is bubbling. Blend the strawberry mixture with an immersion blender or by placing the hot mixture in a standard blender (taking care to leave enough room in the blender for the hot liquid to expand during blending). While the strawberries are cooking, place the remaining 2 tablespoons (1 fluid ounce) water in a small, heat-safe bowl, add the powdered gelatin and stir to combine. Allow the gelatin to swell in the liquid while the strawberries finish cooking. Once the strawberries are cooked and pureed, add the gelatin mixture to the puree and stir until completely dissolved. Set the strawberry mixture aside to cool briefly.
Finish the filling. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment or a large bowl with a handheld mixer, place the chilled whipping cream and beat on medium-high speed until soft peaks form. Transfer the mixture to a separate bowl and place in the refrigerator. In the same bowl, place the cream cheese, remaining 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt, and confectioners’ sugar. If using a stand mixer, switch to the paddle attachment. Beat the mixture on high speed until very light and fluffy (about 2 minutes). With the mixer speed on low, add 1 cup (8 fluid ounces) of the strawberry mixture to the cream cheese mixture and beat until smooth and well-combined. Remove the whipped cream from the refrigerator and carefully fold the whipped cream into the strawberry cheesecake mixture until only a few white streaks remain. Be careful not to deflate the whipped cream.
Remove the crust from the freezer, and pour in the filling, spread it into an even layer, and decorate with the optional fresh strawberries. Place the pan in the refrigerator to chill for at least 2 hours and up to 3 days. After 2 hours, cover the pan with plastic wrap to prevent the cake from drying out. Unmold, slice and serve chilled.
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