Cranberry Shortbread Cheesecake
This Cranberry Shortbread Cheesecake might be almost too beautiful to eat… almost. Featuring vanilla shortbread from Mrs. MacGregor’s, a delicious and local cranberry sauce and candied cranberries, this cheesecake wont last on the dinner table for long.
|2 packages (2 x 180g)||Mrs. MacGregor’s Shortbreads|
|2 tbsp||Melted butter|
|4 blocks (4 x 8oz) cream cheese||Cream cheese, at room temperature|
|2 Tbsp||Vanilla extract|
|5 large||Eggs, at room temperature|
|1/4 cup||Heavy cream|
|3 cups||Cranberries, fresh and whole|
Preparation time: 2 hours active, 6-8 hours passive
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees (with the rack towards the bottom 1/3 of the oven).
- Place the shortbread cookies in a blender or food processor and turn to a fine powder or crumble.
- Scoop the shortbread crumble into a medium sized bowl. Add butter and mix well.
- Spoon the cake base mixture into a greased spring form pan.
- Spread the mixture evenly over the base, then pack down tight either using your hands or the bottom of a flat tool (measuring cup or spatula).
- Place in oven and bake for 10 minutes. Remove and let cool.
- In a large mixing bowl, cream together sugar, salt, vanilla and cream cheese.
- Add eggs one at a time and mix well with hand mixer or stand mixer.
- Add heavy cream to the bowl and mix again until smooth.
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
- Wrap the spring form pan in aluminum foil, so there are no seams down the sides – otherwise water will leak in through the bottom of the pan.
- Fill the roasting pan halfway with water.
- Fill the spring form up to the edge with cake mix.
- Place the spring form in the water, carefully. Place in the oven.
- Cook for 1 hour and 30 minutes, or until the centre has set.
- Once the cheesecake is set let it cool in the oven gradually to prevent cracking.
- Turn off the oven and leave the cake in it for 20 minutes with the door slightly ajar.
- Once the oven has cooled take the cake out and leave at room temperature for 30 minutes to an hour, until cool to the touch.
- Transfer to the fridge, and let cool and set for 6-8 hours.
- Ideally refrigerate overnight.
- Simmer 1/2 cup water and 1/2 cup sugar over medium heat on the stove until sugar is dilute and mixture thickens.
- Let cool completely, then dump the cranberries into the simple syrup.
- Place the coated cranberries on either wax paper or a cooling rack over wax paper, separate them and let them dry for 30 minutes or until they are sticky but not wet to the touch.
- Place 1/3 cup dry sugar in a pan, and toss the cranberries in the sugar.
- In a small saucepan, combine the ingredients for the sauce and stir.
- Place over medium heat.
- Let simmer for 10 minutes stirring frequently.
- The mixture should reduce enough to coat the back of a spoon.
- Remove from heat and pass through a fire sieve, pushing it through with a wooden spoon, until there in only pulp and skin left in the sieve.
- Taste the sauce and add sugar if needed. Set aside to cool.
When you are ready to serve, spoon the cranberry sauce onto the cake and put a pile of the candies berries in the middle. Serve chilled.
- When baking the cake filling you can check to see if the centre has set by tapping the top with a finger. If it seems dense it is set. If it jiggles like liquid it needs more time.
Local Source Guide:
Shortbread: Mrs. MacGregor’s Shortbreads
Recipe and Photography provided by: Jessica Emin, @eatwithjessie