The holidays wouldn’t be complete without cranberries! Make this delicious and beautiful Sugared Cranberry Cheesecake for all of your holiday parties!
This is absolutely stunning! It’s not only beautiful to look at, it’s really delicious. It’s layered with a cranberry filling, and a white chocolate whipped cream that makes this cheesecake just melt in your mouth. It would be wonderful served during the holidays, and the sugared cranberries make this really sparkle. Your family, friends, and guests will be truly overjoyed when you bring this out for dessert. It’s not hard to make, but looks like a professional baker put this one together. This one will definitely be a favorite.
HERE’S WHAT YOU NEED:
scroll down for full recipe with exact measurements
FOR THE CRUST
- graham cracker crumbs
FOR THE CRANBERRY FILLING
- Whole Berry cranberries
- cherry Jello
- fresh cranberries
- corn starch
FOR THE CHEESECAKE:
- cream cheese
- powdered sugar
- heavy cream
- corn starch
FOR THE WHITE CHOCOLATE WHIPPED CREAM:
- cream cheese
- White Chocolate Almond Bark
- heavy cream
FOR THE SUGARED CRANBERRIES:
- fresh cranberries
- TO SUGAR CRANBERRIES:
- Decorating sugars
- white sugar
- Parchment paper
COOKS TOOLS NEEDED:
HERE’S WHAT YOU DO:
In a large bowl, place the graham cracker crumbs, sugar, and melted butter, and mix well to blend. Place Parchment paper in the bottom of the Spring-form pan, and place the graham cracker crumbs on top of the parchment paper, and press evenly into the bottom of the pan. Wrap the bottom of the pan and up the sides about 2 – 3 inches in aluminum foil. Place the Spring-form pan in the freezer.
In a heavy sauce pan, place the Ocean Spray canned Whole Berry cranberries, Jello, sugar and water, stir well, and bring to a boil. Turn down the heat, and add the fresh cranberries, and simmer for 10 minutes. Add the corn starch, by mixing the corn starch with water (about 1/4 cup) until the corn starch is smooth. Pour the corn starch into the cranberry mixture, and stir. Turn the heat up, and bring the cranberry filling to a boil; corn starch will make the cranberry mixture to look cloudy, but once the mixture starts to boil and thicken, it will become clear, and not cloudy. Once the filling boils, and thickens, take it off the stove, and let it cool in the pan.
In the mixing bowl of a stand mixer, mix the 5 – 8 ounce packages of softened cream cheese with the whisk attachment until it’s smooth and creamy. Add about 1/3 of the heavy cream to the cream cheese, and blend. Scrape down the sides of the mixing bowl and blend again until the cream cheese is smooth. Add the sugar, powdered sugar, and vanilla, and blend until creamy. Add the corn starch, and the rest of the heavy cream, and mix until smooth and creamy. Add the eggs, and blend well. Place the mixing bowl in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
Remove the Spring-form pan from the freezer, and pour half of the Cranberry filling over the graham cracker crumbs, and place the pan back in the freezer. After 15 minutes, remove the pan from the freezer, and remove the cheesecake from the refrigerator, and pour the cheesecake over cranberry filling in the Spring-form pan. Place the Spring-form pan in the middle of the Oven, at 350 degrees for 70 minutes. Place a small shallow dish (4″ X 6″) half full of water, on the oven rack under the cheesecake; not on the same rack as the cheesecake, but on the rack underneath. After the cheesecake has baked for the 70 minutes, don’t open the oven door! Turn the oven off, and leave the cheesecake in the oven for 1 hour. After 1 hour, remove the cheesecake, and place it on a wire rack to cool. After an hour, cover the cheesecake with parchment paper, and then a layer of foil, and place it in the refrigerator overnight. It must be refrigerated overnight in order for the filling to set. Place the pan with the remainder of the cranberry filling in it, covered, in the refrigerator.
While the cheesecake is baking, make the cranberries for the sugared cranberries; In a sauce pan, place the 2 cups of water, 2 cups of sugar, and vanilla, and heat until the sugar is completely melted. Pour the fresh cranberries (washed) into the pan, and stir to mix. Turn off the heat, and set the pan aside to cool. When the cranberries are cool, place the pan in the refrigerator to soak the cranberries in the sugar and vanilla overnight. Do Not cook the cranberries – they need to be whole to sugar them.
Let the cheesecake, cranberry filling, and cranberries to sugar, cool overnight in the refrigerator.
THE NEXT DAY:
Remove the cranberry filling from the refrigerator to counter, and allow to warm up a bit.
First, sugar the cranberries; carefully place the cranberries in a colander, in the sink – use a slotted spoon to remove them from the saucepan into the colander. Don’t pour the liquid off the berries, this can be saved and used at a later time, for a sauce, or for drinks. When the cranberries have drained a bit, place the colander on a towel on your counter top – do not drain the cranberries on a towel, or paper towels – they have to be moist/wet in order for the sugar to stick to them. Place a large piece of Parchment paper on the counter, and place the decorating sugar in a shallow dish. With a teaspoon, remove a couple of the cranberries from the colander into the sugar, and move them around to coat. Once coated, place the sugared cranberries on the parchment paper to dry. Try not to touch them with your fingers until the sugars have dried on the berries. The decorating sugar will coat about half of the berries; use regular sugar to coat the other half, and place on the parchment paper for the sugar to set on the cranberries. Leave the cranberries on the Parchment paper for about 1 – 2 hours.
Make the White chocolate whipped cream: In the mixing bowl of a stand mixer, place the softened cream cheese, and mix until smooth. Place the 4 squares of white chocolate almond bark in the Microwave on 10 second intervals until the chocolate melts, and stir with a spoon until smooth and creamy. Pour the melted chocolate in the mixer with the cream cheese, and mix to blend until smooth. Scrape the sides of the mixing bowl, and blend again. Pour the 2 cups of heavy cream into the mixing bowl, and mix on low until blended, turn up the mixer to high, and whip the cream, for 1 – 2 minutes, or until stiff peaks form, and the white chocolate whipped cream will hold it’s shape. Place the mixing bowl in the refrigerator.
Remove the cheesecake from the refrigerator, and pour the rest of the cranberry filling on top of the cheesecake and evenly smooth out the filling to the edges. Place the cheesecake back in the refrigerator for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, remove the cheesecake, and the white chocolate whipped cream from the refrigerator. Smooth about half of the whipped cream on top of the cheesecake, and remove the foil, and Spring-form from the outside of the cheesecake. Place the cheesecake on a cake stand, or cake plate, or the serving piece of choice. Place the cheesecake and the white chocolate whipped cream back in the refrigerator for 20 minutes. After the 20 minutes, remove the white chocolate whipped cream, and place in a pastry bag with the tip inserted in the end. Pipe the whipped cream around the outside edges of the cheesecake and then place sugared cranberries on top of the cheesecake, and pipe a huge dollop in the center of the cranberries on the cheesecake. Keep the cheesecake in the refrigerator until time to serve. Slice in 2 inch pieces, serve, and Enjoy!
This cheesecake is made in steps; part of this you can do one evening, then refrigerate, and finish the cheesecake the next day, as it HAS to be refrigerated overnight to set the cheesecake. You can make this ahead, as long as you have a deep container to store this in the refrigerator. You are seriously going to love this when you’re finished, because the end result is an elegant dessert, and it makes a stunning presentation.