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Cranberry Orange Cheesecake

This image courtesy of Joseph DeLeo

This cheesecake is a staple on many of my students’ holiday tables. The tartness of the cranberries and the sweet creamy filling make every bite explode in your mouth.

NotesUse frozen cranberries right from the freezer, without thawing, to prevent the color from bleeding.

Serves20

Cooking Methodbaking

CostModerate

Easy

Total Timehalf-day

Make Ahead RecipeYes

Kid FriendlyYes

OccasionBuffet, Family Get-together

Recipe Coursedessert

Dietary Considerationhalal, kosher, peanut free, soy free, vegetarian

Equipmentelectric mixer

Taste and Texturecheesy, creamy, fruity, spiced, sweet, tangy, tart

Type of Dishcheesecake

Ingredients

  • 1½ cups (375 mL) butter cookie crumbs
  • ½ cup (125 mL) pecans, toasted (see tips) and ground
  • 1/3 cup (75 mL) unsalted butter, melted
  • 6 packages (each 8 oz/250 g) cream cheese, softened
  • 2¼ cups (550 mL) granulated sugar
  • 6 eggs
  • 2 tbsp (25 mL) grated orange zest
  • 2 tsp (10 mL) freshly grated nutmeg
  • 2 tsp (10 mL) vanilla extract
  • 1½ cups (375 mL) fresh cranberries, slightly crushed, or frozen cranberries
  • 1 cup (250 mL) sour cream
  • ½ cup (125 mL) granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp (5 mL) vanilla extract
  • ¼ tsp (1 mL) grated orange zest
  • 10-inch (25 cm) cheesecake pan, ungreased, or springform pan with 3-inch (7.5 cm) sides, greased

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C)

  2. Crust: In a bowl, combine cookie crumbs, pecans and butter. Press into bottom of cheesecake pan and freeze.

  3. Filling: In a mixer bowl fitted with paddle attachment, beat cream cheese and sugar on medium-high speed until very smooth, for 3 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, beating after each addition. Stir in orange zest, nutmeg and vanilla. Fold in cranberries by hand.

  4. Pour over frozen crust, smoothing out to sides of pan. Bake in preheated oven until top is light brown and center has a slight jiggle to it, 60 to 75 minutes. Let cool on the counter for 10 minutes (do not turn the oven off). The cake will sink slightly.

  5. Topping: In a small bowl, combine sour cream, sugar, vanilla and orange zest. Pour into center of cooled cake and spread out to edges. Bake for 5 minutes more. Let cool in pan on a wire rack for 2 hours. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 6 hours before serving.

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