Cranberry Swirl Cheesecake Recipe
Cheesecakes are cakes that should not to be eaten straight away, they should be cooled and then be refrigerated for several hours, preferably overnight, so the flavors have time to blend and the texture to become firm. Cheesecakes store very well and can also be frozen. To freeze, place the cooled cheesecake on a baking pan and freeze, uncovered, until firm. Remove the cheesecake from the freezer, wrap it in heavy duty aluminum foil and place in a freezer bag. Seal and return to freezer. It can be frozen for several months. Thaw the uncovered cheesecake in the refrigerator overnight.
- Cranberry Filling:
- 1 - 12 ounce (340 grams) bag of fresh or frozen cranberries
- 1/2 cup (100 grams) granulated white sugar
- 2 cups (480 ml) water
- zest of one lemon or orange
- Graham Cracker Crust:
- 2 cups (200 grams) of graham wafer crumbs or finely crushed Digestive biscuits
- 2 tablespoons (25 grams) granulated white sugar
- 1/2 cup (114 grams) unsalted butter, melted
- Cheesecake Filling:
- 24 ounces (680 grams) (3 - 8 ounces packages) cream cheese, room temperature (use full fat, not reduced or fat free cream cheese)
- 1 cup (200 grams) granulated white sugar
- 1 tablespoon (12 grams) all purpose flour
- 4 large eggs, room temperature
- 1 tablespoon heavy whipping cream
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Cranberry Filling: In a medium sized saucepan, place cranberries, sugar, and water. Then, over medium-high heat, cook the ingredients until boiling, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Reduce the heat to medium low and gently boil the filling, stirring often to prevent the filling from burning, until it becomes thick and syrupy and reduced to about 2 cups (480 ml). Remove from heat, stir in the zest, and let cool completely before using. (I like to make and refrigerate the cranberry filling the day before I make the cheesecake.)
New York Cheesecake: Grease, or spray with a non stick vegetable spray, a 9 inch (23 cm) round springform pan. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (177 degrees C) and place the oven rack in the center of the oven.
Crust: In a medium sized bowl combine the graham cracker crumbs, sugar, and melted butter. Press the crumbs evenly over the bottom and about 1 inch (2.5 cm) up the sides of the springform pan. Cover and refrigerate while you make the filling.
For Filling: In the bowl of your electric mixer (can use a hand mixer) place the cream cheese, sugar, and flour. Beat on medium speed until smooth (about 2 minutes), scraping down the bowl as needed. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well (about 30 seconds) after each addition. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the cream and vanilla extract and beat until incorporated. Remove the crust from the refrigerator and pour half the cheesecake filling into the pan. Take one-half cup of the cranberry filling and place spoonfuls over the cheesecake batter and then swirl gently with a knife. Top with the remaining cheesecake batter. Spoon another one-half cup of the cranberry filling over the cheesecake batter and swirl gently with a knife. (Note: You will have leftover cranberry filling which can be served with the baked cheesecake.) Place the cheesecake pan on a larger baking pan (to catch any drips) and place in the oven.
Bake for 15 minutes and then lower the oven temperature to 250 degrees F (120 degrees C) and continue to bake for another 60 to 70 minutes or until firm and only the center of the cheesecake looks a little wet and wobbly. Remove from oven and carefully run a knife or spatula around the inside edge of pan to loosen the cheesecake (helps prevent the surface from cracking as it cools).
Let cool before covering with plastic wrap and refrigerating. This cheesecake tastes best after being refrigerated at least eight hours or overnight. Serve the cheesecake with the leftover cranberry filling.
Makes one - 9 inch (23 cm) cheesecake.
Serves about 12-14 people.
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