Creamy Cheesecake with Cranberry Compote
This cheesecake is a great make-ahead dessert. You can prepare the cranberry compote the night before and let it chill along with the cheesecake. The tartness of the cranberries is the perfect complement to the creamy richness of the cake.
- Preparation Time15 mins
- Cooking Time100 mins
1 stick (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter, melted
2 cups graham cracker crumbs (from about 18 whole crackers)
2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons sugar
Pinch of fine salt
Three 11.5-ounce containers of whipped cream cheese, at room temperature
1 1/4 cups sugar
One 16-ounce container of sour cream, at room temperature
1 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
4 large eggs, at room temperature
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup dried cranberries
3 cups frozen cranberries, thawed
Special equipment needed:
A 10-inch springform pan
- Adjust an oven rack to the middle position and preheat the oven to 160°C.
- For the crust: Brush a 10-inch springform pan with some of the melted butter. Stir together the remaining butter with the graham cracker crumbs, sugar and salt in a medium bowl. Press the crumb mixture into the bottom and 1 inch up the side of the pan. Use the back of a measuring cup or a drinking glass to pack the crust firmly and evenly into the edges of the pan. Bake until browned, 15 to 18 minutes. Let cool completely, then set the pan on top of a large sheet of aluminium foil and wrap the foil around the bottom of the pan and up the sides. Place the pan on a baking sheet.
- For the filling: Beat the cream cheese and sugar in a large bowl with an electric mixer on medium speed for 1 minute. Add the sour cream, and mix until just combined, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Add the cream and vanilla extract, and mix until just combined. Beat in the eggs one at a time, beating the mixture after the last egg until just combined (take care not to overmix or the cake will turn into a souffle).
- Pour the filling into the crust. Bake until the cheesecake is slightly golden and barely set in the middle when the pan is tapped, about 1 hour and 20 minutes (the cake might puff up slightly while in the oven, but that is okay; it will deflate as it cools). Turn off the oven, and leave the cake inside with the door shut for 1 hour. It will continue to set and colour slightly in the oven.
- Run a thin knife or spatula around the cake to release it from the sides (this also helps reduce cracks in the top of the cake as it chills). Cover the cheesecake with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
- For the cranberry compote: Stir the sugar, dried cranberries and 1 cup water together in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, then add the fresh cranberries. Reduce the heat to medium and simmer, stirring occasionally, until most of the fresh cranberries have burst and the sauce is slightly thickened, 8 to 10 minutes. Transfer the compote to a heat-safe bowl and let it cool slightly before covering the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerating until it is completely chilled. The cranberry sauce will thicken as it cools. (This can be made up to one day in advance.)
- For serving: Spread the cranberry compote in an even layer on top of the chilled cheesecake. The cheesecake will sink a bit in the centre as it cools, so it creates a perfect well for the cranberry compote. Run a thin knife or spatula between the cake and the sides again, then release the sides of the springform pan and remove the ring from the cheesecake base. Set the base on a cake platter, slice and serve.