Chyrel's Recipes From Friends

Cranberry-Orange Cheesecake
Posted by: Elaine Sun, 18 Apr 2004, at 5:13 a.m.

“The tart bite of the fruit perfectly balances this creamy cheesecake.
The cake is easier to cut when chilled.”

12 to 16 servings

1 cup dried cranberries (about 4 ounces)
1 cup fresh orange juice
3 pounds cream cheese, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 vanilla bean, split
3 large eggs [room temperature]
1 cup sour cream [room temperature]
2 teaspoons finely grated orange zest

1. In a small bowl, cover the dried cranberries with hot water and let soak until softened, about 20 minutes; drain the cranberries well. Meanwhile, in a small non-reactive saucepan, bring the orange juice to a boil over moderately high heat. Cook until reduced to 1/4 cup, about 20 minutes. Let cool.

2. Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F. Generously butter a 10-by-3-inch springform pan and coat thoroughly with sugar. Wrap the outside of the pan with foil to make it watertight.

3. Using a standing mixer fitted with a paddle or a hand-held electric mixer, beat the cream cheese on medium speed until light and fluffy. Add the sugar and, using a small knife, scrape in the seeds from the vanilla bean; reserve the bean for another use [place in a tightly covered container with sugar for vanilla sugar, for example]. Beat until thoroughly combined. Then beat in the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. On low speed, beat the sour cream, reduced orange juice, dried cranberries, and orange zest into the batter and mix until incorporated.

4. Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Set the pan in a large roasting pan and pour enough hot water into the roasting pan to reach halfway up the sides of the cheesecake. Bake for about 1 1/2 hours, or until the cake pulls away from the sides of the pan, the center is set, and the top is golden. Remove the pan from the water bath and let the cheesecake cool to room temperature. Cover and refrigerate overnight.

Remove the sides of the springform pan and transfer the cheesecake to a large serving plate. Serve chilled or at room temperature.

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