Cranberry Love

I remember my mom popping popcorn and having my brother and I string Cranberries and Popcorn for ‘winter’ birds. I remember trying to impale my self with the needle. It was great fun. I think this was the start of my love for cranberries, especially cranberry color (I LOVE that beautiful red. I actually told my husband I want my next car to be Cranberry red…he laughed like I was telling a joke).

Recently I have made, Cranberry Terrine, Cranberry Scones and now…Cranberry Cheesecake.

My favorite thing of the day today, needs no picture, it’s a spingform pan. There is nothing I dislike more than a cake that is stuck in a pan and won’t come out. A 9 inch springform is a dream come true. It’s also great for cheesecake. I have just a standard 9″ Wilton pan (though, even when I wrap the bottom in foil…it leaks and makes me absolutely crazy mad)…what I would really love is a Kaiser Leakproof pan (talk my husband into that and I’ll nominate you for sainthood, though I’d bed it a very unlikely sell that he’d go for it). No home should go without a springform pan.

Cranberry Cheesecake

Cranberry mixture:

  • 1/3 cup water
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 2 cups fresh cranberries
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice

Crust

  • 1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/3 cup melted margarine

Custard

  • 4 8-ounce pkgs. cream cheese
  • 1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 5 eggs

Topping

  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 2 teaspoons granulated sugar

1. Preheat oven to 475 degrees. Place a large pan or oven-safe skillet (that the cheesecake pan will fit inside) filled with about 1/2-inch of water into the oven while it preheats. This will be your water bath.
2. Combine 1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs and 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon into a medium bowl. Mix in 1/3 cup melted margarine. Press the crumb into a 9-inch spring form pan that has been lined on the bottom and side with parchment paper. Use the bottom of a drinking glass to press the crumb mixture flat into the bottom of the pan and about 2/3 the way up the side. Wrap a large piece of foil around the bottom of the pan to keep the cheesecake dry when placed in the water bath in the oven. Put the crust in your freezer until the filling is done.

3. Meanwhile, for the topping, combine water and sugar in a saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat; boil 1 minute. Stir in berries; cover and reduce heat. Cook until most berries have popped, about 3 minutes. Add lemon juice. Press mixture through a sieve or food mill; set aside.
4. Use an electric mixer to combine the cream cheese with the sugar, sour cream, and vanilla. Mix for a couple minutes or until the ingredients are smooth and creamy. Be sure to scrape down the sides of the bowl. Whisk the eggs in a medium bowl and then add them to the cream cheese mixture. Blend the mixture just enough to integrate the eggs.
5. Remove the crust from the freezer and pour half the filling into it, pour about half the cranberry mixture on top and swirl it around with a knife. Pour the rest of the cream cheese mixture on top.
6. Carefully place the cheesecake into the preheated water bath. Bake for 12 minutes at 475 degrees, then turn the oven down to 350 degrees and bake for 50 to 60 minutes or until the top of the cheesecake turns a a light brown or tan color. Remove the cheesecake from the oven to cool.
7. When the cheesecake is cool, combine 1/2 cup sour cream and 2 teaspoons sugar. Spread the sweetened sour cream over the entire top surface of the cheesecake. Cover and chill the cheesecake in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours.

Now…I was impatient.

Note: The crust got wet…it’s a tragedy…I know. I wrapped the pan well with foil, but the pan just…leaks. gah. It’s pretty on the outside though!

Eh…still needed some time to set on the inside. It was sooo good though. I let it sit in my refrigerator overnight where it finished setting and was much firmer the next morning.

Cranberries symbolize Christmas for me (so does Cherry Chapstick…but that’s another story for another day).

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