In a medium bowl mix together graham cracker crumbs, brown sugar, and melted butter. Dump into a 9” pie pan. Spread in an even layer, then use fingers, or flat-bottomed glass, to press crumbs firmly on bottom and up sides of pan. Chill for 20 minutes.
ALTERNATIVE GLUTEN FREE CRUST: Preheat oven to 375ºF. Stir together crushed cereal, sugar, and butter in a bowl. TIP: For best results use a food processor to mix everything and so crumbs are very finely ground, almost like flour. Dump into a 9” pie pan. Spread in an even layer, then use fingers, or flat-bottomed glass, to press crumbs firmly on bottom and up sides of pan. Bake for 12 minutes and cool at least 15 minutes before filling.
No Bake Cheesecake Filling:
In a large bowl use a hand mixer to beat together cream cheese, sour cream, vanilla extract, and powdered sugar until smooth and no lumps remain, about 1 minute on high.
Gently fold 2 cups of whipped topping into cream cheese mixture. Evenly spread cheesecake filling in no bake crust. Place back in refrigerator for 1 hour while making strawberry topping.
Fresh Strawberry Topping:
Wash strawberries, hull, and then place on towels to dry.
In a small saucepan whisk together sugar, cornSTARCH, and water. Bring to boil, whisking occasionally.
Immediately remove from heat once it begins to boil. Whisk in strawberry jello (with 1 tablespoon removed) and corn SYRUP. Stir to dissolve and let sit until thickened and cooled, about 1 hour. Stir occasionally while cooling.
Arrange washed, dried, and hulled strawberries, cut side down, on top of cheesecake filling. Spoon cooled strawberry gelatin mixture over fresh strawberries. TIP: May not use all of glaze, depending on how deep the pie dish is.Return cheesecake to refrigerator for gelatin to set, about 1 hour.
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