Cranberry Cheesecake


Cranberry Filling

▢1 (12-ounce) bag fresh or frozen cranberries (about 3 cups)
▢1 cup granulated sugar
▢1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
▢2 ¼ cups finely crushed graham cracker crumbs
▢¼ cup granulated sugar
▢6 Tablespoons salted butter, melted
▢24 ounces cream cheese, softened
▢1 cup granulated sugar
▢2 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
▢½ cup sour cream, room temperature
▢¼ cup heavy cream, room temperature
▢2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
▢4 large eggs, room temperature
▢1 (4-ounce) bar white chocolate, chopped
▢4 ounces cream cheese, softened
▢½ cup heavy cream
▢2 Tablespoons powdered sugar
▢½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Candied Cranberries & Rosemary
▢2 cups fresh or frozen cranberries
▢1 ½ cups granulated sugar, divided
▢1 cup water
▢8-10 sprigs fresh rosemary
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Cranberry Filling
Combine cranberries, sugar, and water in a medium-size pot over medium heat. Stir frequently while cooking until the cranberries have burst, about 10-15 minutes. Add a couple tablespoons of additional water if the jam seems like it is sticking to the bottom of the pot too much while cooking.
Remove from heat and stir in vanilla extract. Cool completely before using. You can make this up to 2 weeks ahead and refrigerate it until you are ready to make the cheesecake.
Sugared Cranberries & Rosemary
Combine sugar and water in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat just until the sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat, then add the whole cranberries to the syrupy liquid and let soak for a 1-2 minutes.
Strain cranberries and spread them onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a wire rack set over a baking sheet so they aren’t touching and can dry somewhat. Add rosemary to the same syrup mixture and let soak for 1-2 minutes, then drain and place on another baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Let the cranberries and rosemary sit out for 1-2 hours until tacky, then toss with granulated sugar until completely coated. Store in an airtight container for 3-5 days or use right away.
Preheat oven to 350°F. Line the bottom of a 9-inch springform pan with 3-inch tall sides with a circle of parchment paper.
Pulse graham crackers in a large food processor (affiliate link) until finely crushed. Add sugar and melted butter until the graham cracker crumbs are evenly moistened.
Press into the prepared pan, using a flat-bottomed measuring cup or glass to help press the crumbs halfway up the sides of the pan. Bake for 10 minutes to set the crust, then remove and cool while preparing the filling. Decrease the oven temperature to 325°F before proceeding.
In a large bowl, beat the softened cream cheese with granulated sugar and flour until creamy and smooth using an electric hand mixer or stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Add sour cream, heavy cream, and vanilla extract, then beat again, stopping to scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl.
Add the eggs one at a time, mixing on low speed and scraping the bottom and sides of the bowl between each addition. Do not overmix the batter or beat it too fast once you start adding the eggs or it can incorporate too much air into the batter and cause the cheesecake to crack.
Pour half of the batter into the prepared crust. Dollop about half of the cranberry jam onto the batter by the spoonful. You might need to stir the cranberry jam first to break it up if it is cold.
Use a butter knife to gently swirl the cranberry mixture into the cheesecake batter. Pour the remaining cheesecake batter over this first layer. Dollop the remaining half of the cranberry jam onto the cheesecake batter, then swirl again with a knife.
Transfer the cheesecake to a preheated 325°F oven. Place a large baking pan filled with very hot water on the rack immediately below the cheesecake to create a faux water bath. Bake for 55-60 minutes until just set around the edges but still jiggly in the center.
Turn off the oven and crack the door. Cool for 10 minutes, then carefully run a very thin, flexible knife like a paring knife around the inside edge of the pan to loosen the cheesecake from the pan. Leave the cheesecake in the oven for another 20-30 minutes to cool gently. Remove the cheesecake from the oven and let cool the rest of the way at room temperature before refrigerating.
Transfer the cooled cheesecake to the fridge to chill for at least 4+ hours or overnight to finish setting up completely.
Carefully melting white chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl on 50% power in 20-30 second bursts. Stir well between each burst of heat until the white chocolate is melted and smooth. Set aside.
In another large bowl, beat the softened cream cheese with an electric mixer until creamy and smooth so there aren’t any lumps. Add the melted white chocolate and mix until combined.
In another bowl, beat heavy cream, powdered sugar, and vanilla extract until stiff peaks form. Add the whipped cream to the white chocolate and cream cheese mixture. Use a large rubber spatula to fold them together until combined.
Remove the fully-chilled cheesecake from the springform pan and transfer it to your cake stand or serving plate. Pile the white chocolate mousse on top of the cheesecake and spread it in an even layer all the way to the edges.
Place sugared rosemary sprigs in a wreath around the border of the cheesecake and pile as many sugared cranberries on top of the cheesecake as you would like. I love the sweet-tart bursts with the bites of creamy cheesecake so I use them all, even though I know some will spill off when slicing the cheesecake.

Storage: Store the completed cheesecake in the fridge for up to 5-7 days. It should be covered in plastic or kept in an airtight container to avoid any fridge odors.
Freezing: You can also freeze the cheesecake, either whole or by the slice. If you want to make this ahead of the holidays to have on hand when life gets busier, I recommend baking the cheesecake, letting it cool completely, chill it in the fridge for a few hours, and then wrap it in plastic wrap to protect it. Freeze for up to 2 months, then thaw overnight in the fridge before serving. I like to let the cheesecake sit out on the counter for an hour to have even better flavor.

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