Cranberry Cheesecake


Cranberry Cheesecake Recipe
with Cranberry Orange Compote
serves 8-10

This time consuming, therapeutic, recipe is one of my all time favorites. Easy to make, (after you make it a couple of times) each segment takes time; Stirring, using an electric mixer and even artistic knife skills are involved. The result is grand! And, since everyone likes cheesecake, they will not only be impressed, they will be filled with the joy of cheesecake.

Cranberry Filling for cheesecake
1 pound (about 4 and 2/3 cups) fresh or frozen Cranberries
1 and 1/3 cups superfine sugar
1 orange to make 1/3 cup fresh orange juice from orange
Zest of 4 oranges coarsely chopped


#1: Combine cranberries, sugar and fresh orange juice in heavy medium sized saucepan

#2: Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring until sugar dissolves. = Reduce heat and simmer until berries pop and mixture thickens, stirring frequently to prevent sticking, = about ten minutes.

#3: Add 2 tablespoons of the orange zest, reserving the rest for the compote and stir in. = Cool completely in refrigerator.

Cheese Filling
2 pounds cream cheese (if you can get in a two pound chunk from your local deli it is usually much better)
1 and 1/3 cup superfine sugar
4 large eggs


#1: Using electric mixer, beat the cream cheese and sugar until well blended.

#2: Add eggs, one at a time, beating in each egg, scraping down the bowl before adding each egg.

#3: Set cheese filling aside.

Crust and assembly
3/4 cup graham cracker crumbs (less than 1 package?)
1/3 cup vanilla wafer crumbs (about 10 wafers)
1/4 cup ginger snaps
4 tablespoons unsalted butter melted (1/4 stick)
1 cup plus 3 teaspoons cranberry filling 1/4 cup Chocolate Syrup


A: Preheat oven to 350ºF. Lightly butter a 9" by 3" high springform pan

#1: Gently mix all crumbs by hand in a medium bowl.

#2: Drizzle melted butter slowly and blend by hand until the crumbs are moist.

#3: Lightly press the mixture onto the bottom springform pan.

#4: Pour 1/2 the cheese filling over the crust in the pan.

#5: Spoon three teaspoons cranberry filling and 1/4 cup chocolate syrup evenly over cheese filling and move with the blade of a sharp knife to distribute the filling. Be careful not to disturb the crust.

#6: Pour remaining cheese filling in and top with 1 cup of cranberry filling, evenly placing in a rough circle about 1/3 of the way in. Using a sharp pointed knife, move and swirl the cranberry filling randomly to achieve the look in the manner of Van Goghs Starry Night.

#7: Bake until center of cheesecake is set. About 1 hour.
Transfer cheesecake to rack and maintain oven temperature.

2 cups sour cream
1/3 cup superfine sugar
1 teaspoon 2X vanilla extract


#1: Mix sour cream, sugar and vanilla in small bowl.

#2: Gently press down any raised edges of cheesecake. Spoon topping over cake.

#3: Bake for 5 minutes. Transfer to cooling rack. Optionally, swirl additional cranberry filling and chocolate syrup to decorate by placing a small tablespoon of cranberry filling in the center and drizzle chocolate syrup in a random pattern over the top. Draw with sharp pointed knife outwards to create pattern. This is for design so less is more here!

#4: Cover and refrigerate overnight. Release pan sides. Transfer cheesecake to platter.

Cranberry Orange Compote
1 cup superfine sugar
1/2 cup cold water
1 and 3/4 cups cranberry filling
3 teaspoons minced orange peel (use remaining orange zest)
4 naked oranges (the ones you zested yesterday will work)


#1: Combine superfine sugar and water in heavy small saucepan. Bring to a boil, stirring until sugar dissolves and liquid turns clear.

#2: Transfer to a medium bowl. Add cranberry filling and orange peel.

#3: Using a small sharp knife, cut and peel the pith with from the oranges. Working over another bowl to catch juices, cut between the membranes to release segments. Add the segments to the bowl with juices. (You can make this while the cheesecake is baking and chill overnight)

#4: Add the orange segments and juices to compote just before serving.

Print friendly recipe.