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Tuscan Style Gorgonzola Cheesecake with Fresh Strawberry Thyme Salsa

RECIPE CONTEST ENTRY: Mary Louise Lever, 1st Place in the Stella® "Taste of Authenticity" recipe contest



  • 1 1/2 c. crushed pecan shortbread cookie crumbs
  • 1/4 c. chopped pecans
  • 1/4 c. butter



  • 6 ounces Gorgonzola
  • 4 pkgs. low fat cream cheese
  • 5 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 1 c. sugar
  • 1 tbsp. sugar
  • 5 large eggs
  • 1 c. sour cream
  • 1 tsp. pure lemon extract
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp. grated lemon zest



  • 1 1/2 pc. chopped fresh strawberries
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 tsp. balsamic vinegar
  • 1 1/2 tsp. chopped thyme leaves


  1. Heat oven to 325F. Cover outside of 10-inch springform pan with foil; spray insides with nonstick cooking spray. In small bowl, combine cookie crumbs and pecans and add in melted butter, mixing well. Press mixture evenly into bottom of prepared pan. Chill. In large bowl with mixer on medium speed, beat together both cheeses until blended. combine cornstarch and sugar and add to cheese mixture, beating until smooth. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
  2. Beat in sour cream, lemon extract, lemon juice and lemon zest. Pour filling into prepared pan. Bake for about 1 hour and 15 minutes or 1 hour and 30 minutes or until center of cheesecake is slightly shaky. Remove from oven and run knife around edges of cheesecake. Cool on wire rack. Refrigerate overnight for best flavor.
  3. Meanwhile prepare salsa by combining strawberries, sugar, balsamic vinegar and thyme in small bowl, mixing well. Refrigerate until ready to serve. Serve cheesecake with salsa and garnish with thyme sprigs. Makes 14 or more servings.