Cranberry Orange Cheesecake
Cheesecake is THE all time favorite dessert in my home! Both my hubby and father are obsessed with it and it’s all they ask for. Not pie, not cake, (although the icecream cake was a big hit with them) only cheesecake and they love it plain as can be. My husband literally scrapes off the toppings if I make it for company and top it with fruit glaze or anything. I don’t blame them though as this is the one I have been making oh for the last 15 yrs is the best one I have ever made. It’s Junior’s famous cheesecake recipe and it never never fails me. I only use their filling recipe and usually use a graham cracker crust instead of a shortbread one. It turns out perfect every time and it’s a total crowd pleaser no matter what topping you use with it.
When Paderno sent over some of their bakeware for me to try and use and their professional series 9”round spring form pan was included, I knew this had to be the recipe I made in it. Cheesecake has a special place in my heart too I must admit. I do love it but I can only handle a bite or two as it’s a bit too rich for my taste. I love it for more than the taste though. I usually make it for friends or family and I absolutely love serving it and unveiling it in front of their eyes - not for the oohs and ahhs but I love to see their glistening eyes staring at it while they watch me take off the side of the springform and allowing all the glaze to drip down and then the anticipation of getting their slice. It makes me happy to see people enjoy food. I also absolutely love sharing my recipe with everyone after they have had their slice as that is usually what they ask for.
I recipe tested this particular one and shared it with some of my closest and dearest friends and they enjoyed it. The first time I made the orange cranberry one - I left the cranberries in the glaze and both my husband and friends unanimously agreed that the glaze would be nice but without the cranberries. They add a wonderful tart and delicious contrast to the decadent cheese cake but the texture and seeds in the glaze took away from it a bit. So that is why I decided to make the glaze cranberry-less. The method is simple and both versions - cranberry or sans cranberry’s included.
I made this one with cranberries and orange because they are in season right now an I’m very exited to have access to them. In Trinidad we almost rarely got them, if we did they were outrageously expensive with half the bag soft and unusable. So be expecting a few more cranberry recipes on the blog!
I switched up the crust a bit for this recipe as well. I thought the cranberry and orange flavours in the cheesecake would do well with some spice, so I used ginger snaps for the crust and I absolutely loved the combo. If you aren’t too keen on the idea feel free to substitute with graham crackers instead. Either would be delicious.
Let’s talk about this pan shall we. Either I have had really horrible ones in the past or this professional series Paderno one is really that good. The cheesecake’s release from the pan was seamless and the texture around the edges was perfect. Very little pull away from the pan. Slicing was easy. The pieces released with ease and slid off easily after the initial cut through the crust. It’s a great pan and my cheesecake recipe shines a little brighter using it.
Hope you enjoy this cheesecake as so many of my friends and family have. This recipe will sure have yours asking for it at every occasion! This is a sponsored post for Paderno. All thoughts and views are my own.
For the crust
- 1¾ cups ground gingersnaps
- ⅓ cup unsalted butter, melted
- pinch of salt
For the batter
- 4 (8-ounce) packages Philadelphia cream cheese (use only full fat, at room temperature)
- 1⅔ cups sugar
- ¼ cup cornstarch
- 1 tbsp vanilla
- 2 extra-large eggs
- ¾ cup heavy whipping cream
- Zest of one large orange
For the glaze
- ½ cup sugar
- 2 tsp cornstarch
- 2 cups fresh cranberries
- ⅔ cup water
- Orange zest
- Candied/sugared cranberries (recipe below)
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- Use a food processor to combine ground gingersnaps, butter and salt. (Or stir together in a large mixing bowl until combined.
- Press mixture firmly into the bottom of a 9-inch springform pan (or up the sides, if desired).
- Bake for 10 minutes, then remove and let cool. REDUCE oven heat to 325°F.
- Once the pan reaches room temperature, carefully wrap the outside of the pan in 2 layers of heavy-duty aluminum foil, being sure that there are NO gaps where water could seep through.
- Place the pan in a large roasting dish (or any pan larger than the springform), and bring a tea kettle or pot of water to boil in preparation for the water bath. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, using an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, if your mixer has one, beat 1 package of the cream cheese, ⅓ cup of the sugar, and the cornstarch together on low until creamy, about 3 minutes, scraping down the bowl several times.
- Blend in the remaining cream cheese, one package at a time, beating well and scraping down the bowl after each.
- Increase the mixer speed to medium and beat in the remaining sugar, then the vanilla.
- Blend in the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each.
- Beat in the cream just until completely blended. The filling will look light, creamy, airy, and almost like billowy clouds. Be careful not to over-mix.
- Gently spoon the batter over the crust.
- Place the cake pan in a large shallow pan containing hot water that comes halfway (about 1-inch) up the side of the springform.
- Bake until the edge is light golden brown, the top is light gold, and the center barely jiggles, about 1½ hours.
- Turn oven off, and open oven door slightly holding it open with a wooden spoon in place. Let cheesecake set in oven 1 hour.
- Then remove cheesecake from oven, remove the cheesecake from the water bath, transfer to a wire rack, and let cool for 2 hours.
- Then, leave the cake in the pan, cover loosely with plastic wrap, and refrigerate until completely cold before serving, preferably overnight or for at least 6 hours.
- Make the glaze and serve it on the side with the cheesecake or add it to the top of it before hand depending on preference.
- Combine sugar and cornstarch in a medium saucepan; stir in cranberries and water.
- Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, and cook 5 minutes or until cranberries pop.
- Leave cranberries in place if you like them whole. My husband doesn’t like stewed fruit or the cranberry seeds at all so I cook down the cranberries for a few minutes longer until they have not only popped but have started to breakdown a little.
- Once the cranberries are done remove them from the heat and pass them through a sieve.
- Use a wooden spoon to push as much through the sieve pressing the liquid into a bowl. Make sure to scrape the bottom of the sieve as well to collect all the liquid/glaze
- Then pour the glaze and spread over cheesecake or reserve it for drizzling on each piece before serving.
For the candied/sugared cranberries
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- 2 cups water
- 2 cups fresh cranberries
- ¾ cup superfine sugar
- Combine granulated sugar and water in a small saucepan over low heat, stirring mixture until sugar dissolves.
- Bring to a simmer; remove from heat. (Do not boil or the cranberries may pop when added.)
- Stir in cranberries; pour mixture into a bowl.
- Cover and refrigerate 8 hours or overnight.
- Drain cranberries in a colander over a bowl, reserving steeping liquid, if desired.
- Place superfine sugar in a shallow dish.
- Add the cranberries, rolling to coat with sugar.
- Spread sugared cranberries in a single layer on a baking sheet; let stand at room temperature 1 hour or until dry. Note: The steeping liquid clings to the berries and helps the sugar adhere.
- Store in an airtight container in a cool place for up to a week.
- Release and remove the side of the springform, leaving the cake on the bottom of the pan.
- Place on a cake plate.
- Refrigerate until ready to serve.
- Slice with a sharp straight-edge knife, not a serrated one, rinsing the knife with warm water between slices.
- Refrigerate any leftover cake, tightly covered, and enjoy within 2 days, or wrap and freeze for up to 1 month
Always bake the cheesecake in a water bath as they do at Junior’s. It keeps the heat in the oven moist and helps the cake bake slowly, gently, and evenly. It also helps to ensure that your cake will have a smooth top, with no large cracks.