When my daughter was 4 months old, my husband and I hosted both our families for Christmas dinner. I served this cheesecake for dessert. It's quite festive and was thoroughly enjoyed by the mothers and ladies of the house. —Stacy Dutka, Bienfait, Saskatchewan
- 2 cups crushed shortbread cookies
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1/4 cup butter, melted
- 3 packages (8 ounces each) cream cheese, softened
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 2 tablespoons orange juice
- 1 tablespoon grated orange peel
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 3 eggs, lightly beaten
- 3 cups fresh or frozen cranberries, coarsely chopped
- 1-1/4 cups sugar
- 1 cup water
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 1/4 cup orange juice
- 1/2 cup coarsely chopped pecans, toasted
- In a small bowl, combine cookie crumbs and sugar; stir in butter. Press onto the bottom of a greased 9-in. springform pan. Place pan on a baking sheet. Bake at 325° for 6-8 minutes or until set. Cool on a wire rack.
- In a large bowl, beat cream cheese and sugar until smooth. Beat in the orange juice and peel, vanilla and cinnamon. Add eggs; beat on low speed just until combined. Pour filling over crust.
- Return pan to baking sheet. Bake at 325° for 45-50 minutes or until center is almost set. Cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Carefully run a knife around edge of pan to loosen; cool 1 hour longer. Refrigerate overnight.
- In a large saucepan, combine the cranberries, sugar and water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, for 3 minutes. Combine cornstarch and orange juice until smooth; stir into cranberry mixture. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened.
- Remove from the heat; cool to room temperature. Stir in pecans. Spoon over cheesecake. Refrigerate until chilled. Yield: 12 servings.
Originally published as Festive Cranberry-Topped Cheesecake in Taste of Home October/November 2008, p32
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