Thanksgiving Day is about family, friends and experimenting in the kitchen. Bringing people together for a big meal means opportunity to try new things – how else could we have perfected the brown bag turkey or discovered the turducken?

This year’s new recipe was a hit – melt-in-your-mouth Strawberry Cheesecake that was surprisingly easy to make (no water baths!) and a perfect light ending to a heavy meal. I daresay no one missed the pumpkin pie.

Give this recipe a try and who knows, maybe it will make it on your menu next year!

3/4 cup ground pecans
3/4 cup graham cracker crumbs
3 tablespoons butter, melted

4-8oz. packages cream cheese, softened
4 eggs
1 1/4 cups sugar
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups sour cream
1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Strawberry Glaze:
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1/4 cup water
1-12 oz. jar strawberry jelly
3 tablespoons lemon juice
1 quart whole fresh strawberries, hulled

Combine pecans, crumbs and butter. Press onto bottom of a 10-in. springform pan. Set aside.

For filling, beat the cream cheese in a large bowl until smooth. Add eggs, sugar, lemon juice and vanilla. Beat well. Spoon over crust.

Bake at 350 degrees for 50 minutes or until filling is almost set. Let stand for 15 minutes. Meanwhile, for topping, combine the sour cream, sugar and vanilla. Spread over cheesecake and return to the oven for 5 minutes. Cool to room temperature and refrigerate 24 hours.
Several hours before serving, prepare glaze. In a saucepan, combine cornstarch and water until smooth. Add jelly and cook over medium-high heat, stirring constantly, until jelly is melted and the mixture has thickened. Remove from the heat; stir in lemon juice. Cool to room temperature.

Just before serving, loosen and remove sides of springform pan. Arrange strawberries on top with pointed ends up. Spoon glaze over berries, allowing some to drip down sides of cake. Serve immediately.