If you haven't noticed cheesecake is sort of a big deal at our house. With Mike being such a cheesecake fanatic you couldn't have possibly thought that I wouldn't have a special Christmas themed cheesecake this year! So this cranberry cheesecake is......words....
INSANELY GOOD. Like. Amazing.
Creamy airy cheesecake meets sweet and tart cranberries flavored perfectly. It's such a good pair. Cranberries can be super tart so I wanted to make sure they wouldn't take away from the cheesecake itself.
I cook the cranberries with some orange juice, maple syrup and sugar. White sugar, not brown. Brown sugar makes things more caramely, and that isn't what we are going for here.
Cranberry and orange are a long time used combo.
If you are in charge of bringing dessert to the christmas party than you will wow with this cheesecake.
If it's a large party, divide the batter up and use muffin tins for individual servings or even better the mini muffin tins will give you lots of little tastes!
My secret to a good cheesecake is to make sure you whip the batter on high and if you take notice to the before and after the batter almost doubles in size when you do this!
Another thing I should point out is to not open the oven door a bunch of times to check on it. Try to use the oven light to see how it's doing.
But here's the deal, if you open the door a bunch, the cheesecake cracks then it's not the end of the world. I'm definitely not the perfect baker so it happens. Even when you think you've done everything right it can still happen, so don't be hard on yourself.
As long as it tastes goods, I think your are in the clear!
You'll notice that the majority of your cranberries will sort of sink to the bottom. That's really okay. Because then you get that nice saturated cranberry filling you can see in the photos.
You'll want to give this at least 24 hours to chill. The longer it sets the better it will taste. That doesn't mean let it set a whole week then dig in. 24 hours is all you need for cheesecake bliss.
Waiting is the hardest part!
I love how airy this cheesecake is. When you'll take the first bit you will know exactly what I mean by that. But then it sort of melts in your mouth.
You can have your own slice, or maybe grab another fork and share with a loved one.
Or you can just eat the entire cheesecake by your lonesome and I wouldn't dare judge. Because its so gosh darn good.
2 blocks cream cheese
3 Hickman's eggs
1/2 tsp vanilla
small pinch of salt
1 tbsp corn starch
3/4 c sugar
1/4 c sour cream
2 c fresh cranberries
1/4 c orange juice
1/2 c water
3 tbsp maple syrup
1/4 c sugar
1 pkg graham crackers
3 tbsp butter
1 tbsp sugar
pinch of salt
Preheat your oven to 325.
In the bowl of a stand mixer combine cream cheese, vanilla extract, salt, cornstarch, sugar and sour cream, mix until combined. Add in the eggs, one at a time, and beat at medium/high speed for 3 minutes. Let it sit.
Use a mini food processor to pulse together the graham crackers, butter, sugar and salt. Cut a circle out of parchment paper and set it in the bottom of a springform pan. Press the graham cracker mixture to the bottom of the pan, but not the edges. Set your pan on a large rimmed baking sheet and bake for 7-10 minutes. Remove from the oven.
In a small sauce pan combine cranberries, orange juice, water, maple syrup and sugar. Bring it to a boil and then simmer covered until all the cranberries have burst. Let this cool slightly and transfer it to a food processor, pulse until the cranberries are nice and smooth.
Fill the springform pan with the cheesecake filling followed by spoonfuls of the cranberry sauce. Take a spoon and swirl it all around. Put this in the oven, on the baking sheet. Fill a cup with water and fill up the baking sheet so it's half way full.
Bake for 55-70 minutes, the middle will jiggle a little but the edges should be totally set. The top should be a little golden. If you under bake the cheesecake it won't set up right and be very loose instead of airy and creamy.
Remove from the oven, let the cheesecake sit until it has cooled off, a few hours. Cover with cling wrap and chill overnight before serving! It should come easily off the springform pan thanks to the parchment paper.