While standing in line at the supermarket a couple years ago, I noticed a beautiful picture of a cheesecake on the cover of Cooking Light. Picking up the magazine to find the recipe inside, one glance and I knew that it would never work. Who wants a “Light” Cheesecake? Not I! J I bought the magazine anyway, because the recipe did have one component that I wanted to use. Taking the idea, I knew I already had the perfect cheesecake recipe (Martha Stewart’s Classic Cheesecake Recipe) that I could use and incorporate the cranberry swirl. Doing so, I made up my very first cheesecake recipe.
“Cheesecake Night” – a night I schedule in advance, for which I make an abundance of cheesecakes and hopefully invite enough friends over to try them all, without leaving any leftovers-- was last Friday night, and out of the four cheesecakes there that night, this one was voted everyone’s favorite. I think because it does indeed have a true slightly sweet flavor of an original cheesecake, yet is a bit tangy because of the cranberries.
Just in time for Christmas, literally. ~Enjoy and Merry Christmas!!
1 ½ cups Oreo crumbs
¼ cup butter, melted
Adapted from Martha Stewart’s recipe above; omitting the crust and halving the recipe
1 ¼ pounds cream cheese (20 oz.) room temperature
¾ cup sugar
½ tsp. finely-grated lemon zest, plus ½ TBS fresh lemon juice
¼ tsp. coarse salt
2 large eggs
½ cup sour cream
Optional: 1 tsp. powdered vanilla (my secret ingredient)
1 ½ cups fresh cranberries
½ cup sugar
¼ cup Orange Liqueur (Patron Citronge)
3 TBS water
Preheat oven to 325. Set a kettle of water to boil. Place a 9-inch springform pan on a double thickness of heavy-duty foil. Securely wrap foil around pan. Grease pan and set aside.
In a food processor, pulse Oreos (about 20) until you have the needed 1 ½ cups fine cookie crumbs. Combine cookie crumbs and butter and press into the bottom of the springform pan.
Using an electric mixer, beat cream cheese on medium until fluffy, scraping down sides of bowl. Gradually add sugar, beating until fluffy. Beat in lemon zest, juice, salt, and vanilla (if using). Beat in eggs, one at a time, scraping down sides of bowl after each addition. Beat in sour cream. Pour over prepared crust.
Place cranberries, sugar, liqueur, and water in a saucepan; boil. Cook 8 minutes or until cranberries pop and mixtures is syrupy. Cool 20 minutes. Place mixture in a food processor; process 1 minute or until smooth. Spoon about 6 dollops of cranberry sauce on top of cheesecake. You can use as much or as little of the sauce as you wish. I typically use about ¾ of the amount. Swirl together using the tip of a knife. Again, you can swirl as much or as little as you wish to get the look you desire.
Place springform pan in a roasting pan and add about an inch of the boiling water. Bake until center is just set, about 45-50 minutes. Remove pan from water; let cool 20 minutes. Run a knife around edge; let cool completely. Chill overnight.