It's springtime again; what a wonderful time of year for strawberries. Bite has been testing some new strawberry recipes and by far the staff favorite has been our take on strawberry cheesecake. A little bit different than your momma's cheesecake, but crispy phyllo "cookies" separating decadent strawberry packed cream layers make for a delicious new way to enjoy a spring classic.
Yield: eight “stacks”
· 1/4 cup skim milk
· 4 1/2 teaspoon unflavored gelatin
· 2 cups strawberries hulled and quartered
· 1 cup fresh ricotta
· 1/4 cup sugar
· 8 oz mascarpone
· 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
· 1 pint fresh strawberries, thinly sliced
· Parchment paper
· 2/3 cup slivered almonds
· 1/4 cup sugar
· 5 sheets frozen phyllo dough, thawed
· Vegetable oil cooking spray
Place milk in a small saucepan. Sprinkle with gelatin; allow to rest until gelatin absorbs and begins to puff up on the surface of milk, about 15 minutes. Heat on medium to medium-high heat, stirring constantly, until gelatin completely dissolves, 1 to 2 minutes. Remove from heat. Blend strawberries, ricotta and sugar in a blender until smooth. Add mascarpone and lemon juice and blend until creamy. Add gelatin mixture and blend until smooth. Pour into a bowl; cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate until firm, 1 to 2 hours. Heat oven to 350°F. Cover 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper. Grind almonds and sugar in a food processor. Lay out 1 phyllo sheet on a large cutting board; coat with a thin layer of cooking spray. Sprinkle with 2 tablespoon almond mixture. Stack another phyllo sheet on top and repeat. Continue until you have 5 layers, ending with almonds on top. Coat with a thin layer of cooking spray. Cut sheet into 4 even strips horizontally and then 3 even strips vertically to form 12 rectangles. Cut each rectangle diagonally to form triangles. Transfer cookies to 2 baking sheets. Bake until golden brown, 10 to 12 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool. Spread 3 tablespoon cheesecake filling and a few strawberry slices on a cookie. Add another cookie on top and repeat filling and strawberry slices. Top with another cookie, and end with filling and strawberries. Serve immediately or store cookies and filling separately until you are ready to serve them.