Saturday, September 24, 2005

Ribbon of Cranberries Cheesecake

When I came across this recipe in the 1992 Edition of the Holiday Cooking Better Homes and Garden I had to try it. It is a wonderful change to the traditional cheesecake and is perfect for the holiday season. It graces my table every Thanksgiving. I suggest making the cheese cake a day before you want to serve it so it has time to chill.

Ribbon-of-Cranberry Cheesecake

1 1/2 cups finely crushed vanilla wafers (about 33)
6 tablespoons margarine or butter, melted
1 cup sugar
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 1/2 cups fresh or frozen cranberries
1 cup orange juice
1 cup low-fat cottage cheese
2 8-ounce packages light cream cheese (neufchatel) softened
1 cup sugar
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons vanilla
3 eggs
2 teaspoons finely shredded orange peel
1 8-ounce carton low-fat vanilla yogurt

For crust, in a bowl combine crushed wafers and melted margarine. Press mixture into bottom and 1-inch up sides of a 9-inch springform pan.. Set aside.

Stir together 1 cup sugar and cornstarch into a medium saucepan. Add cranberries and orange juice. Cook and stir over medium heat till bubby. Cook and stir 2 minutes more. Remove 3/4 cup of the sauce, cooled slightly. Cover and chill remaining sauce till serving time.

Place the 3/4 cup sauce in a blender or food processor bowl. Cover and blend or process till smooth. Transfer to a bowl. Wash blender container or food processor bowl.

Place cottage cheese in the blender container or food processor. Cover and process until smooth. Transfer to a large bowl. Add cream cheese, remaining 1 cup sugar, flour, and vanilla. Beat with an electric mixer till combined. Add eggs. Beat on low speed just till combined. Stir in orange peel.

Pour half the cheese mixture into crust-lined pan. Drizzle pureed sauce over cheese mixture in pan. Carefully top with the remaining cheese mixture. Covering sauce as much as possible.

Bake cheesecake on a shallow baking pan in a 375 degree F. Oven 45 to 50 minutes or till center appears nearly set when shaken. Cool on a wire rack 15 minutes, loosed the sides of the pan. Cool 30 minutes. Remove side of pan. Cool and chill at lest 4 hours.

To serve, spread cheese cake with vanilla yogurt, top with some of the reserved sauce. Pass remaining sauce.

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