Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Cranberry Cheesecake

I recently realized that it's been years since I made a cheesecake. Without a lot of family nearby to help eat it (and with a lactose intolerant husband), a cheesecake can be dangerous for me to have around! There is no way I would be able to let any of it go to waste, so I'd have to eat cheesecake at least once or twice a day until it was gone.

Although I had to work on Thanksgiving, my friends hosted a full turkey dinner the next day so that I wouldn't miss out on the celebration. I quickly jumped on the opportunity to make dessert, and wanted to try something different from my typical honey crunch pecan pie (which I promise to share at some point in the future). I wanted to find a cheesecake recipe that would compliment the meal, and knew that cranberry was the way to go.

I substituted some light ingredients, so the texture wasn't quite as heavy, but it still tasted great! I would suggest more cranberries, though, if you want a stronger cranberry flavor - the Oreo crust competed with the cranberries more than I would have liked, but they do blend together well.

CRANBERRY CHEESECAKE (Adapted from Frankly Entertaining)
Makes 1 - 9 inch Cheesecake

3 cups Oreo cookies, crushed
1/2 cup butter, melted

1/3 cup water
2/3 cup sugar
2 cups cranberries

3 - 8oz packages cream cheese (I used 2 light and 1 regular)
1 cup sugar
1 cup light sour cream
5 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla

Pre-heat oven to 300 degrees. Combine cookie crumbs and butter and press into the bottom of a 9″ springform pan (& about 1 inch up the sides). Bake for 8 minutes, let cool.

Increase temperature of the oven to 350 degrees.

Combine water and sugar in a saucepan over med-high heat. Bring to a boil for 1 min. Add cranberries, reduce heat until most of the berries have popped. Press mixture through a sieve or food mill. Reserve liquid. (Discard the solid cranberries)

For the cake, start by mixing cream cheese and sugar until smooth. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing between each one. (Be sure to scrape the edges of your bowl regularly).
Add sour cream and vanilla.

Add mixture to cookie crust. Add a few tablespoons of the cranberry liquid and swirl it into the batter with a knife.

Bake for 45 minutes. Be sure to place the pan onto a cookie sheet as small amounts of butter may leak out the bottom.

When the cake is done (very little "jiggle" in the center), leave it in the oven, with the door open, for two hours.

After the cake is completely cool, top it with the rest of the cranberry liquid, and place in the fridge overnight.


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