Cheesecake with Fresh Strawberry Sauce
1 1/2 cups fine graham cracker crumbs
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter, melted
32 ounces (Four 8-ounce packages) cream cheese
2 cups sour cream
4 large eggs
1 1/4 cups sugar
2 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 to 1 1/4 cups halved fresh strawberries
1/4 cup sugar
1 lime, zested
For the crust: Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Spray the bottom of a 10-inch springform pan with cooking spray; line the bottom with a round of parchment paper; and spray the paper with cooking spray. Place the pan on a sheet of heavy-duty aluminum foil and bring the foil up around the sides to enclose the seam between the bottom and the sides of the pan (this will prevent water from leaking in).
Stir together the graham cracker crumbs and sugar in a mixing bowl. Add the melted butter and mix until the crumbs are coated. Press the mixture firmly into the bottom of the pan and up the sides. Set aside.
For the filling: In a stand mixer, beat the cream cheese together with the sour cream. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the sugar, cornstarch and vanilla, and beat until smooth.
Pour the filling into the prepared crust. Set the foil-wrapped pan inside a larger pan, and carefully pour 1/2 inch of warm water into the larger pan to create a water bath. Bake for 1 hour. Turn off the oven, open the oven door and let the cheesecake stand in the opened oven for 1 hour. Refrigerate the cheesecake for 2 hours or overnight before removing it from the pan.
For the sauce: Process the strawberries, sugar and lime zest in a food processor or blender until smooth. Chill for at least 1 hour before serving. (The sauce is best served cold from the refrigerator.)