New York Cheesecake with Cranberry Cordial Sauce

This was my very first cheesecake. I was nervous about it beacause I wanted it to be perfect. If it had fallen or cracked, I would not have been happy! I am pleased to report that it did not fall or crack. It was smooth and golden on top and firm and creamy throughout! The crust was fantastic and the sour cream topping… I could have eaten that all on it’s own. Just me and a spoon. The Rock Star LOVES cheesecake. The only thing he might enjoy more would be a devastating concoction of peanut butter and chocolate.I’m fairly certain that I will need to explore that duo soon.

I wanted to be festive and add a sauce. I am a purist and enjoy my cheesecake straight. However, a sauce would be beautiful and decadent. after all, I would not be the only person enjoying this dessert!

 

 

You will need the following:
  • Crust:
  • 2 cup fine graham cracker crumbs
  • 2 tbsp. granulated sugar
  • Pinch salt
  • 5 tbsp. butter, melted

 

  • Filling:
  • 2 lbs. or (4) 8 oz. blocks plain cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 tbsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 c. granulated sugar
  • 4 eggs, room temperature
  • 2/3 cup sour cream, room temperature
  • 2/3 cup heavy whipping cream, room temperature

 

  • Sour cream topping:
  • 1 1/2 cups sour cream
  • 1/4 cup powdered sugar
  • The seeds of one vanilla bean
Directions:
  1. Cover the bottom and sides of a 9-inch spring-form pan with aluminum foil. You want good coverage here. The pan will be sitting in a water bath for the duration of it’s bake time. You do not want water to be able to seep into the pan. Use enough to go several inches up the sides of the pan.
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees, placing the top rack in lower third of oven.
  3. In a large mixing bowl,combine graham cracker crumbs with sugar and salt. Pour the melted butter over top and mix until the thoroughly coated.
  4. Pour crumb mix into the prepared spring-form pan and gently press into the bottom and up the sides about an inch and a half. Use the bottom of a glass or measuring cup to smooth the crust into the pan. Bake 8-10 minutes or until lightly golden brown. Turn oven down to 325 degrees.
  5. Beat the cream cheese, salt and vanilla in the bowl of a stand mixer for approximately 4 minutes or until smooth and creamy. On the lowest setting, gradually add the sugar. Return to high speed and beat an additional minute. Reduce speed back to low, add the eggs one at a time, mixing until incorporated. Add the sour cream, then the heavy cream, beat on high for 1 minute.
  6. Place the prepared spring-form pan into a large roasting pan. Pour the cream cheese filling over your crust into the spring-form pan, smooth the top with a rubber spatula. Place cheesecake into the roaster and pour boiling water carefully around it. The water level should be 1 1/2-2 inches.  Place in the oven and bake at 325 degrees for 1 hour and 45 minuets. If you like extra firm cheesecake, continue baking for an additional 14 minutes for a total of 2 hours.
  7. After the the cheesecake has baked, turn off the oven, slightly crack the door open and allow to cool for 1 hour. Cooling slowly will prevent the top from cracking or falling. Do not skip this step. Once cooled, remove foil and refrigerate for at least 4 hours.
  8. Prepare the topping by combining all of the ingredients in a mixing bowl and stirring together until smooth. Using a spatula, spread over the top of the cooled cheesecake. Chill and let topping set for another hour. The edges should have pulled away from the pan, making it easy to remove the spring-form ring.

Cranberry Cordial Sauce

You will need the following:

  • 1- 12oz bag of fresh cranberries
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/4 cup cointreau
  • the juice of half an orange

Directions:

  1. Bring sugar and water to a boil.
  2. Add remaining ingredients and allow to gently boil for about 30 minutes.
  3. Press through a mesh strainer. Discard solids and store in an airtight container until ready to use.

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