Notes: You can make the strawberry sauce up to 1 day ahead; cover and chill. The puff pastry crust can be made (steps 1 through 4) up to 1 day ahead; store airtight at room temperature. If it loses its crispness, bake, uncovered, in a 400° oven 15 to 20 minutes, then cool. You can make the filling (step 5) and slice the berries up to 2 hours ahead. Fill crust just before serving. PREP AND COOK TIME: About 1 hour.
Sunset MARCH 2005
1. In a 2- to 3-quart pan, combine 2/3 cup water, butter, and granulated sugar; bring to a boil over high heat. Add flour all at once and stir quickly until mixture pulls away from pan sides and clumps together. Remove from heat and stir until flour is incorporated and mixture is smooth. Let cool about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
2. One at a time, add eggs to warm butter mixture in pan, beating with a wooden spoon after each addition until dough is smooth and satiny. (Or scrape warm butter mixture into a bowl, add eggs one at a time, and beat with an electric mixer on high speed after each addition just until smooth; do not overbeat.)
3. Spoon dough into a buttered 9-inch cheesecake pan with remov- able rim; spread evenly over bottom and about 1 inch up sides.
4. Bake in a 400° oven until puffed and golden, 25 to 30 minutes. Prick pastry crust with a toothpick in about 12 places, then return to oven and bake until golden brown, dry, and crisp, 5 to 15 minutes longer. Transfer pan to a rack and let cool completely. Run a knife around pan sides to release pastry, then remove pan rim.
5. In a bowl, with an electric mixer on high speed, beat cream cheese, orange peel, and vanilla until smooth. Add whipping cream and 2/3 cup powdered sugar; beat on low speed until blended, then on high speed just until mixture forms stiff peaks (do not overbeat).
6. Spoon filling into puff shell. Scatter sliced strawberries over filling. Sift about 1 tablespoon powdered sugar over the top. Cut into wedges and serve with Strawberry Sauce to spoon over individual servings.
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