recipe I consistently use (on the back of the Keebler Graham Cracker Crumb box, and featured previously on this blog) comes out great every time. Dale asked for a strawberry sauce on the side (since some people like their cheesecake unadorned) and when I went to the market there were beautiful strawberries on sale for $1.99 a pint. In the middle of January! I have no idea where in the world they were grown, but despite my ignorance about the geographic journey they took to get to my local Hannaford market, they were pretty much perfect. They were small, and red, and just-right ripe. Not one dud in the bunch. I looked on-line for a strawberry sauce recipe, and adapted one that I found on allrecipes.com. Here's my version of strawberry sauce, and I am pretty sure you'll enjoy it, if not on cheesecake, then on angel food cake, ice cream, or yogurt. Let me know how you like it!
1 quart fresh strawberries
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 tablespoons Grand Marnier or Triple Sec, if you have it, or just use orange juice
Chop strawberries coarsely. Place 2/3 of the strawberries in a saucepan with the sugar. Set aside the other third to be stirred in at the end.
Over medium heat, mash strawberries and sugar with a potato masher as much as you can, and bring to a gentle boil. Let simmer (low, bubbling boil) while continuing to mash for about five minutes, until sauce thickens and most of the strawberries have broken down. Stir in vanilla extract and Grand Marnier, Triple Sec, or OJ. Let simmer another minute or two. Remove from heat. Stir in other third of chopped strawberries. Let it sit for a while until it cools down. When cooled enough, pour into storage container and refrigerate until ready to use. It's best to use this sauce cold when serving with cheesecake. A little whipped cream wouldn't hurt, either.