Have a holly jolly Christmas, it’s the best time of the year….Oh sorry I have these Christmas jingles in my head this time of year and yes I know it isn’t even Thanksgiving yet. :D I’m hopeless when this time of year comes around! Just imagine your friends and families face when you break out this beauty for desert! I think this is truly one of the best cheesecakes I have ever had.
As you know I am not the best baker around, so when I make a cheesecake that comes out looking at gorgeous as this one..I am a happy camper! You know what it means? It means YOU can do this too!! LOL
My mom gave me a ton of fresh cranberries and I was trying to figure out what the heck to do with them, when of course cheesecake comes to mind. The cinnamony chocolatey graham cracker crust paired with the creamy cheesecake and tartness of cranberries is like a bite of heaven in each mouthful. The cranberry compote is a MUST to save even after the cheesecake is gone. It is great on crackers with a sharp cheddar cheese or to add into your mixed cocktails! YUM
- 2 cups of fresh or frozen cranberries
- 2/3 cup granulated white sugar
- 2/3 cup orange juice
- 1/4 tsp nutmeg, ground
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon, ground
- zest of one lemon or orange
- 4 tsp vanilla
Graham Cracker Crust:
- 2 3/4 cups of graham crackers
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tablespoon unsweetened Cocoa powder
- 2 tablespoons granulated white sugar
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
- 4 – 8 ounces packages cream cheese, room temperature (I used 2 full fat and 2 reduced fat cream cheese and this is crazy rich)
- 1 cup granulated white sugar
- 1 cup sour cream
- 1/2 cup whipping cream or half and half
- 1 tablespoon vanilla
- 4 large eggs, room temperature
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- cranberry compote
Make cranberry compote:
Combine all ingredients except vanilla in large saucepan. Cook over medium high heat until mixture thickens, stirring occasionally, about 5-10 minutes. Cool slightly. Transfer to food processor and add vanilla. Puree until smooth. Strain into a bowl and cover Refrigerate at least 6 hours or freeze for 3.
Spray 10-inch-diameter Springform pan (I used 2 pie dishes) with nonstick spray. If using a Springform pan, wrap outside of pan with 2 layers of heavy-duty foil. Blend all ingredients except butter in food processor. Add butter; blend until moist clumps form. Press crumb mixture onto bottom and up sides of pan. Chill crust while preparing filling.
Position rack in center of oven and preheat to 350°F. Using electric mixer, beat cream cheese in large bowl until fluffy. Beat in sugar. Beat in eggs 1 at a time. Mix in sour cream, half and half and vanilla.
Transfer 1/3 of filling to prepared crust. Dollop 1/3 of cranberry puree atop filling. Repeat layering of filling and puree 2 more times. Using knife, skewer or toothpick, swirl puree through filling, creating marbled design.
Place springform pan or pie dish in large baking dish or roasting pan. Pour enough hot water into roasting pan or baking dish to come halfway up sides of springform pan or pie dish. Bake until cheesecake puffs around edges, about 1 hour 15 minutes. Turn off oven. Let cake stand in oven 1 hour, leaving oven door ajar.
If using springform pan: Transfer cake to rack. Run knife around pan sides to loosen cake. Cool completely. Remove foil from pan sides. Cover cake and chill overnight. (Can be made 2 days ahead. Keep refrigerated.) Remove pan sides.
If using a pie dish: Cover with plastic wrap and place in refrigerator for 6 hours or 3 hours in freezer.
Serve cake with Cranberry Compote either on top or on the side for dipping each tart bite into!