Saturday, September 28, 2013

Cranberry Layered Cheesecake

I was seduced by its color and because I'm weak, this five layered cranberry confection ended up on my table. I normally don't make desserts that are this involved. As a matter of fact, I rarely make cheesecakes at all. I love them, mind you. I just can't convince myself that the protein packed into all that cream cheese offsets the fat and calories that keep the protein company. The first time I saw this cake was on the table of an accomplished cake decorator. It was gorgeous and its garnet glow snared me before reason could take hold. I made a homely version of the cake, one precious time consuming layer at a time, and thought that would be the end of it. I never dreamed Bob would like it. He did and now I'm dealing with a case of unintended consequences. I'll have to make the cake again. The cake begins with an almond flavored crust that is partially filled with a sweetened cheese custard and then topped with a cranberry filling. The garnet layer is then smothered with the rest of the custard before being topped with sweetened sour cream. The cake bakes a considerable while, and then is cooled and chilled for a considerable while, before a final layer of cranberries crown the cake and decorations of almond whipped cream are applied. It is a lovely tangy cake that provides irresistible color on the holiday table. The recipe was developed by Teri Rasey for Taste of Home magazine. Despite the work, I'm glad to recommend this cake to you. I've made a few changes to the original recipe. which you can find here. My version of the recipe appears below. I suggest that you add salt and almond extract to the crust and that you eliminate the ground almonds from the whipped cream. Let the cake chill for 24 hours before serving. This is a very nice recipe and, if you like cheesecake, it will be a great addition to your files. Here's how it's made.

Cranberry Layered Cheesecake...from the kitchen of One Perfect Bite courtesy of Teri Rasey and Taste of Home magazine


Pastry Layer

1/2 cup dried cranberries

2 cups cake flour

1/2 cup ground almonds

1/4 cup confectioners' sugar

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon almond extract

1/2 cup cold butter, cubed

Cranberry Layer

3/4 cup sugar

2 tablespoons cornstarch

1/4 cup cranberry juice

2 cups fresh or frozen cranberries

Cream Cheese Layer

4 packages (8 ounces each) cream cheese, softened

1-1/2 cups sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

4 eggs, lightly beaten

Sour Cream Topping

2 cups (16 ounces) sour cream

1/4 cup sugar

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Whipped Cream Topping

1 cup heavy whipping cream

1 tablespoon sugar

1/4 teaspoon almond extract


1) In a food processor, finely chop dried cranberries. Add flour, almonds and confectioners' sugar, salt and almond extract; process until blended. Add butter; pulse just until crumbly.

2) Press onto the bottom and 1-1/2 in. up sides of a greased 10-in. springform pan. Place on a baking sheet. Bake at 350° for 10 minutes.

3) In a small saucepan, combine 3/4 cup sugar and cornstarch; stir in cranberry juice until smooth. Add berries. Cook and stir until thickened and bubbly. Set aside.

4) In a large bowl, beat cream cheese, vanilla and sugar until smooth. Add eggs; beat just until combined. Pour half of batter into crust. Carefully spoon 3/4 cup berry mixture over batter; top with remaining batter.

5) Bake for 45 minutes. Reduce heat to 250°. Bake 25-30 minutes longer or until center is almost set. Combine sour cream, sugar and vanilla; spread over top. Bake 20-30 minutes or until set. Cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Run a knife around edge of pan to loosen; cool 1 hour longer. Spread remaining berry mixture over the top. Refrigerate overnight.

6) Beat cream with sugar and almond extract until stiff peaks form. Pipe around top edge of cheesecake. Yield: 16 servings.

You might also enjoy these recipes:

Caramel Cheesecake - Wild Yeast

Mini Bourbon Pumpkin Cheesecakes - Dessarts

Caramel Apple Cheesecake Pie - The Sweet's Life

German Cheesecake - Anja's Food 4 Thought

Pumpkin Toffee Cheesecake - The Other Side of 50

Pumpkin Cheesecake - Simply Recipes

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