This recipe is pretty much a cranberry cheesecake with sugared cranberries (icing sugar) on top. To me a cheesecake is a cheesecake and as long as the main cake area is rich and creamy, the crust thin and crumbly and the topping gooey and moist, you can call it anything you want. I prefer gooey toppings and so I cook the cranberries longer to make it more saucy. But if you follow the recipe below and simply toss the cranberries into a mixture for a few seconds you’ll end up with a dryer, more aesthetic topping which is congruent with this recipe.
Sparkling Cranberry Cheesecake
For the cheesecake
- 8-oz. bars cream cheese, softened
- 1 c. sugar
- 3 large eggs
- 1/4 c. sour cream
- Zest of 1 large orange
- 2 tbsp. all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
- 1/2 tsp.salt
For the crust
- 1 sleeve graham crackers, finely crushed (1 1/2 cups)
- 5 tbsp. melted butter
- 1/4 c. brown sugar
- 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
- pinch of salt
For the cranberries
- 1/2 c. water
- 2 tbsp. orange juice
- 1 1/2 c. sugar, divided
- 1 c. fresh cranberries
- Preheat oven to 325º and grease an 8″ or 9″ springform pan with cooking spray.
- Make cheesecake filling: In a large bowl using a hand mixer, beat cream cheese and sugar. Add eggs, one at a time, then sour cream, orange zest, flour, vanilla, and salt.
- Crust: In a large bowl, mix together crushed graham cracker crumbs, melted butter, brown sugar, cinnamon and salt. Press mixture into prepared pan.
- Pour filling over crust. Wrap bottom of pan in aluminum foil and place on a baking sheet. Bake until center of cheesecake only slightly jiggles, about 1 hour 30 minutes. Turn off heat, prop open oven door, and let cheesecake cool in oven, 1 hour, then remove aluminum foil and refrigerate cheesecake in pan until firm, at least 5 hours and up to overnight.
- Meanwhile, make the sugared cranberries: In a medium sauce pot over medium heat, combine water, orange juice, and 1/2 cup sugar. Stir until sugar is dissolved, 3-4 minutes. Add in cranberries and toss until fully coated. Transfer onto parchment paper and let cool, about 15 minutes. When cool, toss in remaining sugar and top cheesecake. Serve.
- Enjoy 🍪🎄✨
Why Cranberries go so well with Cheesecake:
Let’s start with the basics – cranberries bring a bold, tart flavor to the table. They have a zing that can wake up even the dullest taste buds. Now, imagine this tartness combined with the creamy, luscious richness of cheesecake. A refreshing counterpoint to the velvety smoothness of the cheesecake.
The tangy kick of cranberries cuts through the decadent creaminess, creating a balance that is equivalent to a culinary yin and yang, a play of contrasts that elevates the overall experience. The tartness of the cranberries doesn’t just sit back; it takes center stage, adding layers to the flavor profile overall.
Cranberries, especially if they’re in the form of a compote or sauce, bring a burst of juiciness to the party. Imagine that burst happening just as you sink your fork into a velvety slice of cheesecake. The lush creaminess of the cheesecake meeting the juicy, fruity goodness of the cranberries.
The textures play off each other beautifully. You get the smooth, melt-in-your-mouth sensation from the cheesecake, and then bam! The cranberries swoop in with their juicy pop, creating a dynamic textural dance that keeps things interesting. It’s not just about taste; it’s about the whole experience – the way your palate navigates through the creamy and the juicy, creating moments of pure indulgence.
The vibrant red hues of cranberries add a pop of festive color that’s not just pleasing to the eye but also sets the stage for a culinary celebration. I mean, who can resist the allure of a cheesecake adorned with a glossy cranberry topping or a swirl of cranberry compote?
It’s like the dessert is dressed up for a party, and the cranberries are the flashy accessories that tie the whole look together. The contrast of the red against the creamy backdrop of the cheesecake is not just appetizing; it’s downright Instagram-worthy. And you know me, always ready to snap a pic before I take a bite.
They bring the festive feels to any occasion. Whether it’s a holiday gathering, a birthday bash, or just a Tuesday that needs a bit of sweetening, this combo knows how to bring the celebration.
The tartness of cranberries adds a touch of sophistication to the cheesecake, making it a dessert that feels a bit more special. It’s like they’re saying, “Hey, we’re here to elevate your dessert game.” And let’s be real, who doesn’t want a dessert that can turn an ordinary day into a mini celebration?
So Many Ways to Enjoy
Now, here’s the best part – the versatility. Cranberries and cheesecake aren’t confined to a single format. You can go classic with a cranberry swirl atop a New York-style cheesecake, or you can get adventurous with a cranberry compote ripple through a cheesecake batter.
But it doesn’t stop there. Picture this – a cheesecake with a graham cracker crust, a velvety cheesecake layer, and a generous spread of cranberry sauce on top. It’s like the dessert gods got together and decided to create the ultimate treat. The options are endless, and that’s what makes this combo so exciting. You can tailor it to your taste buds and the occasion at hand.
Because You Can!
I can’t resist a bit of kitchen therapy. The beauty of the cranberry-cheesecake duo is that it’s surprisingly easy to whip up at home. A simple cranberry compote, a classic cheesecake recipe, and voila – you’ve got yourself a dessert that could rival any fancy bakery creation.
There’s something inherently satisfying about creating a dessert that’s both visually stunning and a flavor bomb. Plus, the aroma that fills your kitchen as the cheesecake bakes and the cranberries bubble away? It’s pure magic.
That’s the lowdown on why cranberries and cheesecake are a match made in dessert heaven. Next time you’re in the mood for a sweet adventure, give it a shot. Trust me; your taste buds will thank you.
Here’s to anything cranberry!