Friday, November 25, 2011

Cranberry Cheesecake Recipe

Ingredients :

1 pie crust (or if you are making it homemade, which this time I did not, 2 cups graham crackers and 1/3 cup melted butter)

4 8-oz packages of cream cheese (I used Philadelphia's, as I always do for cheesecake)
1 cup sugar
5 eggs
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Cranberry topping:
1 package of fresh cranberries
2/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup water

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
2. If making your own crust, combine graham cracker crumbs and butter. Press onto bottom of pan and bake for 5-8 minutes. Cool.
3. For the topping, rinse cranberries and throw into a saucepan with the water and sugar. Turn heat all the way up until bubbling and then reduce heat and cover. Stir constantly or it will become a sticky clumpy mess all over your pan. Cook for about 5 minutes, then take off the stove. What I did next, I threw it all into my blender and chose the "liquify" setting, then set aside.
4. Beat cream cheese in a large mixing bowl. Then gradually beat in 1 egg at a time. Add the sugar. Add vanilla. Beat until light and creamy. Pour into the crust.
5. Take a few spoon fulls of the cranberry sauce you made and pour down the middle of the cheesecake. Then take a butterknife and do a fancy swirly pattern with it to give it a marble effect.
6. Bake for 15 minutes at the 350 degrees, then turn the oven down to 200 degrees and cook for about an hour, or until the cheesecake is slightly jiggly when you gently shake it. The key is timing. If you leave it in too long it will start to crack, but don't worry, because then you can just use the cranberry sauce left over to fill the cracks and it's good as new. If preferred you can cover the whole top of the cheesecake with the leftover cranberry sauce, or do what I did and leave it on the side for people's personal preference. To me I thought covering the whole top would've been too much of the tartness.
7. It's best if you can refrigerate overnight (try to let it cool first  for 15 minutes or so, so the condensation doesn't build up when you cover it), but if you're making it the day off like I was, 4 hours in the fridge will do.
* If the cranberry is too tart for some guests, serve with whip cream that they can top it with. It's the perfect touch to add some extra sweetness.

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