Cranberry Cheesecake Recipe
Cheesecake isn't everyone's idea of a Christmas Dinner dessert, that's for certain. But if you are looking for an alternative to the heavier desserts such as Christmas Pudding then this is definitely worth trying. Even if you don't want it for Christmas it can be a great treat at any other time of the year. Another advantage of this recipe is that you can make the topping for the cheesecake at the same time as you are making cranberry sauce for the turkey.
This an unbaked cheesecake which means it is set with gelatine and as such contains raw egg. As always with raw egg be careful if you are serving this dish to those in vulnerable groups.
You may be interested to try this suggested menu:
Starter - Avocado Cream Terrine
Starter - Goats Cheese, Pear and Walnut Salad
Main Course - Fruit Stuffed Goose
Main Course - Parcels of Ricotta and Spinach
Dessert - Cranberry Cheesecake
Dessert - Christmas Chestnut Bombe
- 8oz full-fat soft cream cheese
- 2 eggs, separated
- finely grated rind and juice of 2 lemons
- 8oz caster sugar
- 1/2 pint natural yogurt
- 1/2 pint thick cream
- 1 level tablespoon powdered gelatine
- 8oz cranberries
- 2 level teaspoons arrowroot
- 6oz digestive biscuits, crushed
- 3oz butter, melted
For the base:
- The first part of the cheesecake is the base which is simply made by mixing the crushed biscuits and melted butter together. Make sure that it is well mixed.
- When you are happy that it has been properly mixed, spoon the mixture into a suitable loose-bottomed tin. It is important to use a loose-bottomed tin if you can get hold of one because it makes the easy removal of the cheesecake possible.
- With all the biscuit mixture in the tin, now press it down firmly with the back of a metal spoon, trying to make sure that the biscuit is spread evenly - you don't want some parts of the cheesecake having too much base and other parts too little. There are enough fights at Christmas as it is!
- Next comes the cream cheese part of the recipe. Beat the cheese, egg yolks, lemon rind, yogurt and 2oz of the sugar together in a bowl. Once again make sure it is well mixed.
- Whip the cream lightly with a whisk until it reaches the soft-peak stage. This basically means that when you lift up the whisk small peaks will form in the cream which will fold over and not hold their shape.
- When the cream is whipped sufficiently, fold it into the cheese mixture. Do this gently with a large metal spoon (such as a tablespoon).
- Now grab a small heat-proof bowl and mix 5 tablespoons of lemon juice with 2 tablespoons of water. Sprinkle the gelatine into the lemon and water and leave to soak for 2 - 3 minutes.
- At this point start heating some water in a small saucepan. When the water is simmering place the gelatine bowl over the water. The steam from the simmering water will gradually heat the gelatine mixture.
- Keep stirring the gelatine mixture until all the gelatine is dissolved. Be careful not to let the gelatine mixture boil as this will diminish the gelatine's ability to set the cheesecake.
- Stir the gelatine into the cheese mixture and leave to cool.
- Whisk the egg whites until they reach the soft peak stage and then fold them into the cheese mixture making sure they are evenly incorporated.
- We're reaching the final stages now. Simply pour the chesse mixture onto the biscuit base you prepared earlier. This will need to be chilled for 3-4 hours to give it a chance to set.
- While you are waiting you can prepare the topping. Cook the cranberries with the remaining sugar and 1/4 pint of water in a pan for about 10 minutes until soft and still whole.
- Blend a little water with the arrowroot, stir into the cranberry mixture and slowly bring to boiling point. This will thicken the sauce.
- Cook for 2 - 3 minutes and then set aside to cool.
- Remove the cheesecake from the tin leaving loose base in place.
- Put onto a serving plate.
- Spoon cranberries over the top of the cheesecake. Enjoy!
Prep Time: 5 hours
Yield: 4 - 6 portions