I can't go to any Christmas gathering without this show-stopping dessert in tow. The combination of cranberries, chocolate and orange is a winner.—Laura Lufkin, Essex, Massachusetts
- 1 cup finely chopped pecans
- 2/3 cup chocolate wafer crumbs
- 1/4 cup butter, melted
- 3 tablespoons brown sugar
- 2 packages (8 ounces each) cream cheese, softened
- 2 cartons (8 ounces each) mascarpone cheese
- 1-1/4 cups sugar
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 2 teaspoons orange juice
- 1 teaspoon orange extract
- 4 large eggs, lightly beaten
- 3/4 cup whole-berry cranberry sauce
- 1/4 cup dried cranberries
- 1 tablespoon water
- 1/4 cup chocolate ice cream topping, warmed
- Place a greased 9-in. springform pan on a double thickness of heavy-duty foil (about 18 in. square). Securely wrap foil around pan.
- Combine the pecans, wafer crumbs, butter and brown sugar. Press onto the bottom and 1 in. up the sides of prepared pan. Place on a baking sheet. Bake at 325° for 8-10 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool on a wire rack.
- In a large bowl, beat the cheeses, sugar, cornstarch, orange juice and extract until smooth. Add eggs; beat on low speed just until combined. Pour half of the batter over crust.
- Place the cranberry sauce, cranberries and water in a food processor; cover and process until blended. Gently spread over batter in pan; top with remaining batter.
- Place springform pan in a large baking pan; add 1 in. of hot water to larger pan. Bake at 325° for 60-70 minutes or until center is just set and top appears dull.
- Remove pan from water bath. Cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Carefully run a knife around edge of pan to loosen; cool 1 hour longer. Refrigerate overnight. Just before serving, drizzle with chocolate topping. Yield: 12 servings.
Originally published as Cranberry Orange Cheesecake in Taste of Home Christmas Annual Annual 2009, p164
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