Tuesday, May 03, 2005

Cranberry-Orange Cheesecake with Oreo Crust

Cranberry-Orange Cheesecake with Oreo Crust (Adapted from Bon Appétit)

For the crust

21 Oreos
2 ounces bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

For the filling

32 ounces cream cheese, softened
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
3 tablespoons all purpose flour
4 large eggs
2 teaspoons fresh grated orange peel
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

For the topping

1/2 cup sugar
3 tablespoons water
1 teaspoon cornstarch dissolved in 1 tablespoon water
2 cups fresh cranberries
1/2 teaspoon fresh grated orange peel

To make the crust

Preheat oven to 325

Process Oreos and chopped chocolate in a food processor until finely ground. Pour in butter and process until combined - it should be moist and starting to hold together. Scoop mixture into a 9" springform pan lightly coated with nonstick spray. Use the bottom of a measuring cup to press the crust into the bottom and up the sides of the pan. Bake until set, about 8 minutes. Remove and set on a wire rack to cool completely.

To make the filling

Set the oven temperature to 350

Since you will be baking this in a water bath, use heavy duty foil to wrap the bottom and sides of the springform pan to prevent any water from penetrating the crust.

In a large mixing bowl, beat together cream cheese and sugar until combined and creamy. Mix in flour. Add eggs, 1 at a time, and mix only until blended. Mix in orange peel and vanilla.

Scoop mixture into the crust and set the springform in a large roasting pan. Use hot water to fill the pan so that it comes halfway up the sides of the springform pan.

Bake until the cheesecake looks mostly set, but about a 3" ring in the center is still a bit jiggly, about 50-60 minutes. Remove springform from the water bath and place on a wire rack. Use a sharp knife to run around the top edge of the cheesecake - let cool to room temperature, about 4 hours. Cover cheesecake and set in the refrigerator to chill overnight.

To make the topping

In a medium saucepan, add sugar and water - heat over medium-low until sugar dissolves. Bring the heat to medium and add cornstarch mixture - bring to a simmer while stirring often. Add cranberries and cook until they begin to pop, stirring often, about 3 or 4 minutes. Mix in orange peel and remove from heat - let cool completely. Cover and set in the refrigerator to chill overnight.

Use a thin sharp knife to run around the edge of the of cheesecake to loosen. Remove the sides of the pan and top cheesecake with cranberry mixture. Set back in the refrigerator to set - about 1 hour.

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