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Cranberry Cheesecake

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Tis the season and between cooking, traveling, shopping, running the box and wodding I haven’t had time to breathe let alone bake.  Whew!  Christmas is less than 10 days away and it’s time to begin whipping up some holiday treats.  This cranberry cheesecake remake from Southern Living is well worth the efforts and you can manage to wrap a few presents between steps.

Ingredients

Crust

Best Ever Pie Crust (and gluten free)

Filling

1 pound fresh organic cranberries
1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup fresh organic raspberries
2 tablespoons non GMO cornstarch|
3 tablespoons Grand Marnier
2 tablespoons coarsely chopped orange zest
1 1/2 tablespoons coarsely chopped lemon zest
1/4 teaspoon sea salt

Cheesecake

3, 8 oz packages organic cream cheese, softened at room temperature
2, 8 oz containers organic creme fraiche or sour cream
1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
5 large eggs
2 tablespoons vanilla

Sauce

1/4 cup organic cane sugar
1/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice

Preparation

Prepare crust as directed for a one crust pie.  Preheat over to 350 degrees.  Press mixture onto bottom and up sides of a lightly greased (with coconut oil) 9-inch springform pan.  Chill 10 minutes.  Bake 10 to 12 minutes or until golden brown; cool in pan on a wire rack 30 minutes.

Prepare Filling:  bring cranberries and next 7 ingredient to a boil in a saucepan over medium-high heat; cook, stirring often, 2 minutes or until cranberry skins begin to split and mixture thickens.  Let stand 30 minutes.  Reserve 1/2 cup cranberry mixture for sauce.  Spread remaining cranberry mixture in prepared crust.

Prepare Cheesecake:  reduce oven temperature to 325.  Beat cream cheese and next 3 ingredients at medium-low speed with an electric mixer in a large bowl just until blended and smooth.  Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating at low speed just until yolk disappears after each addition.  Stir in vanilla.  Pour cream cheese mixture over cranberry mixture and smooth top of batter to level.  Place cheesecake on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet.

Bake at 325 for 1 hour and 10 minutes or until center of cheesecake jiggles.  Turn oven off.  Let cheesecake stand in oven with door closed, 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, prepare Sauce:  process 1/4 cup cane sugar, next 2 ingredients, reserved 1/2 cup cranberry mixture and 1/4 cup water in a food processor until smooth.  Pour mixture through a fine wire-mesh strainer into a bowl.  Discard solids.  Cover sauce, and chill until ready to use.

Remove cheesecake from oven and gently run a knife around outer edge of cheesecake to loosen from sides of pan.  Do not remove sides.  Cool completely on a wire rack (about 2 hours).  Cover and chill 8 to 12 hours.  Serve with sauce and garnish with sugared cranberries*, fresh mint leaves and orange peel curls.

 Sugared Cranberries:  combine 2 cups sugar and 2 cups of water in a small saucepan over low heat stirring mixture until sugar dissolves.  Bring to just under a boil and remove from heat.  Stir in cranberries; pour mixture into a bowl.  Cover and refrigerate 8 hours or overnight.  Drain cranberries and save steeping liquid for other uses (hint:  excellent for cocktails).  Place superfine sugar in a shallow dish; add the cranberries rolling to coat with sugar.  Place in a single layer on a parchment lined baking sheet and let stand at room temperature for 1 hour or until dry.  Yum!
*Can be purchased