Using an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese in medium speed until soft, creamy and completely smooth (no lumps). Add the condensed milk slowly and continue to beat until the mixture is smooth. Occasionally scrape the sides of the mixing bowl to ensure that there are no lumps remaining on the side or at the bottom. Pour in the lemon juice and vanilla extract and beat again until just until it’s mixed.
Pour the filling into the crust and refrigerate overnight or until fully set. This can be made 1-2 days ahead. Just before serving drizzle some of the strawberry sauce for topping.
To make the sauce, in a small saucepan combine the strawberries, sugar, lemon zest and juice and cook over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally. Cook until the fruits begin to break down and release their juices at the same time mashing a few berries to help in the process. Continue to cook until the sauce thickens roughly 10-12 minutes or to your desired consistency. The sauce will continue to thicken as it stands. Leave to cool completely before using. Store in the refrigerator if not using right away. Enjoy!
TIPS & TRICKS
In making the crust, I sometimes use digestive biscuits because my English hubby who grew up with it thinks it tastes better than graham crackers.
I don’t know if there’s much difference but I leave that decision to you. You can also choose to add some nuts to the crust (for extra flavor and crunch) or leave it nut-free. Either way works!
As for the cheesecake, you need to use a good quality cream cheese (like Philadelphia cream cheese) so it holds up well. I have tried cheaper cream cheeses but they turned up soft and not as firm as I’d want them to be.