If you are looking for a spectacular holiday dessert this year, try this Cranberry Cheesecake.
The luscious, sweet, creamy filling is contrasted perfectly with tart cranberry puree running through the filling and topped with a gorgeous, vibrant, red cranberry compote.
This dessert is certain to become a holiday classic in my home and maybe yours as well.
Notes: Plan on making this at least a day ahead. The cranberry puree needs to cool for at least 4 hours and the cheesecake tastes best when allowed to sit in the refrigerator overnight. It can be made a few days ahead. I used toasted walnuts and Kinnikinnick gluten free graham style crumbs in the crust; you could also grind gluten free graham crackers. You need one 12-ounce bag of cranberries for the dessert – part will go into the puree, the rest in the compote.
Gluten Free Cranberry Cheesecake Recipe
2 cups fresh or frozen and thawed cranberries
1 cup sugar
2/3 cup orange juice
Gluten free non-stick cooking spray
¾ cup walnuts
1 ½ cups Kinnikinnick gluten free graham style cracker crumbs
3 tablespoons sugar
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
4 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, at room temperature
1 cup sugar
4 large eggs, at room temperature
1 cup sour cream
Zest of 1 orange, finely grated
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
½ teaspoon salt
¼ cup orange juice
Zest of 1 orange, finely grated
½ cup sugar
1 cup fresh or frozen and thawed cranberries
1 tablespoon orange liqueur – optional
Make the Cranberry Puree first:
Combine the cranberries, sugar, and orange juice in a medium saucepan and cook over medium heat until the cranberries start to pop, about 10 minutes. Let cool. Put mixture in a food processor or blender and puree. Strain through a sieve and refrigerate until cold, about 4 hours. Can be made several days ahead. Cover with plastic wrap while in the refrigerator.
Next make the Crust:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Wrap a 9-inch springform pan with two layers of foil. Make a 2 – 3 inch collar out of foil and wrap it around the sides of the pan so that it makes the sides of the pan higher, just in case the cheesecake rises above the edge of the pan. Secure the collar with kitchen string. Spray the pan with cooking spray.
Finely grind the walnuts in a food processor or blender. Place in a bowl and combine with the graham style crumbs, sugar, and melted butter. Press firmly into the bottom of the prepared pan and bake until brown and fragrant, 8 – 10 minutes. Let cool. Leave the oven on.
Now make the Cheesecake Filling:
In the bowl of an electric mixer, preferably fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese and sugar until smooth and fluffy. Add the eggs and beat until combined. Add the sour cream, orange zest, vanilla, and salt.
Put half of the filling mixture into the pan. Top with the cranberry puree and then, top that with the rest of the filling.
Place the pan in a roasting pan and put in the oven. Pour boiling water into the roasting pan, coming halfway up the side of the springform pan. Bake for 1 ½ hours. At about 1 hour, start checking the cheesecake; if the top becomes too brown, place a piece of foil on top. After 1 ½ hours of baking, turn the oven off but leave the cheesecake in for another hour. Remove from oven, let cool, and refrigerate overnight.
Make the Cranberry Compote:
Combine the orange juice, zest, sugar, and cranberries in a small saucepan. Cook over medium heat until the cranberries start to pop, about 10 minutes. Stir in the orange liqueur, if using. Let cool.
Serve the cheesecake:
Serve the cheesecake with the compote on the side, and top each slice with a little compote.
Serves 10 – 12
Ready for dessert?
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