"Two layer cheesecake with cranberry orange compote"

Two layer cheesecake with cranberry orange compote

Growing up our Thanksgiving table was full of the usual items like turkey, gravy, stuffing and cranberries….from a can (insert sound of record scratching or nails on a chalkboard here.)  If I close my eyes I can still see the indentations in the jelly-like stuff and the wobble every time someone bumped the table leg. 

Although I actually admit to eating and liking the cranberry jelly then, I now find myself hoarding bags of fresh cranberries when they appear in stores.  Well-suited to the freezer, cranberries are versatile (desserts, meat dishes) healthy and just plain delicious.

Below is recipe for cheesecake composed of two layers; one a traditional Philly cheese and the other a blend of sour cream and Greek-style yogurt.  It's the perfect carrier for the tangy, sweet cranberry orange topping. Enjoy! 

Two layer cheesecake with cranberry orange topping

Graham cracker crust

  • 4 T unsalted butter
  • 3 ½ oz. graham crackers, crushed into crumbs 

First layer

  • 2 – 8 oz packages Philadelphia cream cheese
  • 2 large eggs
  • ½ cup sugar
  •  ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract 

Second layer

  • 1 1/4 cups sour cream
  • 2/3 cup thick Greek-style yogurt
  • 2 ½ tablespoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 

Cranberry orange topping

  • ½ cup sugar
  • 3 tablespoon water
  • 1 t cornstarch, dissolved in 1 tablespoon water
  • 2 cups fresh cranberries
  • ½ teaspoon grated orange peel 

Preheat oven to 375.     Finely grind the graham crackers in a food processor.  Melt the butter and pour over the graham cracker crumbs.  Mix thoroughly.  Pour mixture into a buttered 9-inch springform pan.     Beat the ingredients for the first layer together thoroughly.  Pour over the base and smooth on top.  Place on baking sheet and bake in the oven for 20 minutes or until just set.  Set aside for 20 minutes to firm up. 

Mix the ingredients for the second layer and spoon evenly over the first layer.  Return to the oven for 10 minutes then take out and cool. 

Refrigerate for at least 6 hours or overnight. 

For the topping, stir sugar and water in medium saucepan over medium-low heat until sugar dissolves.  Increase heat to medium; add cornstarch mixture and simmer.  Add cranberries, cook until beginning to pop, stirring often, about 3 minutes. Stir in orange peel.  Cool completely. 

Cheesecake recipe adapted from Fiona Beckett’s Cheese.  Cranberry orange topping courtesy of Epicurious.

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