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Gourmet Cranberry Grand Marnier Cheesecake | Cranberry Cheesecake

Updated on September 13, 2015

A Holiday Gourmet Cranberry Grand Marnier Cheesecake

This is the time of the year that cranberries come into season. As the leaves change to the warm yellows, golds, rusts and red tones of autumn, the bright red shiny cranberries begin showing up in the stores.

Cranberries are such a wonderful little berry. The fresh tart red berries look similar to ripe coffee beans and are chock full of vitamins and anti-oxidants

I am a lover of gourmet cheesecakes! No 2% fat, low-fat or non-fat cheesecake for me! No! No! No! They are always made from the finest ingredients for that superb texture and flavor that only comes with real cream cheese, cream, sour cream, eggs and butter.

Cheesecake pairs very well with the tart little red cranberries, adding a wonderful contrast of colors and flavors. A Gourmet Cranberry Grand Marnier Cheesecake is a perfect elegant addition to any holiday dinner table.

They are becoming more and more fashionable to be served as an alternative to the standard apple pie at the annual Thanksgiving feast or Christmas dinner. Why wait for Thanksgiving or Christmas? Try it out for Valentine's Day. It will put a smile on the faces of your family and friends!

whole cranberries from Maine
whole cranberries from Maine

A Cranberry Cheesecake is Easy to Make

A cranberry cheesecake may seem to be a very difficult dessert to put together, but it is actually one of the easiest desserts to whip up for someone with no experience.

When you are finished creating this delectable dessert, it will look gorgeous sitting on your elegantly decorated holiday dinner table. The red of the cranberries will add to the festive table décor of Valentine's Day, Halloween, Thanksgiving or Christmas. The only real difficulty of baking a cranberry cheesecake is the length of time involved.

I have never been much of a cake baker, especially with layered cakes, but I do love baking cheesecakes. A cheesecake is especially easy even for someone like me who is all thumbs when it comes to whipping up a flour based cake.

Something that you must keep in mind when making a REAL cheesecake, regardless of the flavor, is that you must use REAL ingredients. Substituting low-fat or low-quality ingredients such as margerine for butter is one of the major causes of cheesecake failure, in both consistency and flavor.

I hope you enjoy the cranberry cheesecake recipes that I am sharing here with you. They will make wonderful additions to anyone's holiday table and your family and guests will thank you for it.

Note: Cranberries may be purchased in season and frozen to be used at another time simply by thawing when needed.

cranberry relish cooking for gourmet cranberry cheesecake
cranberry relish cooking for gourmet cranberry cheesecake | Source

Cranberry Grand Marnier Topping:

It's Easier to Make the Cranberry Topping Ahead of Time.

2 c. fresh cranberries

1/4 c. granulated sugar

1/4 c. orange juice

1/2 fresh orange, peeled and chopped fine

1/3 C. orange marmalade

2 Tblsp. Grand Marnier*

1 t. grated orange zest

In a small saucepan, bring cranberries, sugar, orange juice and chopped orange to a boil, stirring to dissolve sugar.

Cook on medium high until skins split and cranberries pop. Skim off as much of the foam and seeds that float to the top while the sauce is cooking.

Add the orange marmalade. Turn the heat down to low and continue to cook until the sauce has thickened to your desired consistency.


Correcting the Tartness of the Cranberry Topping

Taste, being careful not to burn your tongue!

This is where you will correct your sauce to your taste. If it is not sweet enough, instead of adding more sugar, I will add honey. If you chose to add more sugar, you must cook the sauce until all of the sugar has once again dissolved.

Keep in mind that the longer you cook the berries, the more they will cook down. This is fine if you want a saucier consistency. It is entirely up to you and what you like.

Remove from heat; stir in zest and Grand Marnier. Taste again and add more honey or Grand Marnier if needed.

Cool mixture completely. Cover and refrigerate up to 2 days ahead.

Assemble Your Ingredients

While the cranberries are cooking, you can assemble the ingredients that you will be using to make the Gourmet Grand Marnier Cranberry Cheesecake. The cream cheese and eggs should be taken out of the refrigerator and brought to room temperature before using.

Once that is done, get out an 9-inch springform cheesecake baking pan, and grease the bottom and sides of the pan with butter. If you don't have a springform baking pan you can get one below.

Preheat oven to 375.

I bought one of these a springform pan a few years ago, after taking the photos using one of my older pans. I have since purchased 2 more. They are the best springform pan I have ever used for even baking and easy cleanup.

The bottom of the pans are are heavier than most springform baking pans which translates to better stability.

They are called a no-leak bottom and they truly are. The ones I have really don’t leak at all so that I no longer have to use aluminum foil to wrap around the bottoms.

Incidentally, any time a springform pan gets dented, as can happen over time, the dent can cause the pan to leak, although this pan is guaranteed for 5 years not to. With the durability

The pans I used for 35 years, prior to buying these pans, were NOT non-stick pans. These springform pans are a much better quality. I am sure they are going to last me as long, if not longer.

They will probably out live me and end out in the hands of my children or grandchildren. LOL.

Next I plan to pick up the set up mini cheesecake pans that this company makes.

Kaiser Bakeware LaForme Plus 9-Inch Springform Pan

Kaiser Bakeware LaForme Plus 9-Inch Springform Pan
Kaiser Bakeware LaForme Plus 9-Inch Springform Pan
It is important to use a high quality springform pan for this, or any, cheesecake you may want to bake.
Cranberry cheese cake graham cracker crust
Cranberry cheese cake graham cracker crust | Source

The Crust:

Prep Time: 30 min

Start to Finish: 8 hr 45 min

Makes: 12 - 14 servings

1-1/2 c. graham cracker crumbs

3 T. light brown sugar

1/2 t. ground cinnamon

4 T. (i/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted

Note: If you would like a thicker crust, just increase the ingredients.

Combine dry crust ingredients in a bowl, until combined.

Add melted butter and mix until evenly moistened.

Press mixture evenly onto buttered bottom and halfway up sides of pan.

Wrap the bottom of pan with foil to prevent leakage and to catch any spills or possible overflows.

Bake the crust for 4 minutes or just until golden.

Cranberry Cheesecake batter in spring form pan
Cranberry Cheesecake batter in spring form pan | Source

The Filling

2 lbs. (4-8 oz.each) pkg. cream cheese, softened

3/4 c. granulated sugar

1 c. (1/2 pint) sour cream

2 t. grated orange peel

1 t. vanilla

1 T. Grand Marnier

3 Lg. eggs

Set mixer to medium speed. Beat cream cheese and sour cream just until smooth, scraping bowl often with a rubber spatula as you go.

Blend in remaining filling ingredients. Once combined begin adding the eggs one at a time. Beat about 3 minutes, occasionally

scraping bowl. Do not over beat.

Pour into prepared crust.

baked cranberry cheesecake filling
baked cranberry cheesecake filling | Source

Bake Cranberry Cheesecake Filling

Bake at 375 for 10 minutes.

Turn heat down to 350 and bake for 45 minutes or until set, but slightly jiggly in center.

Remove from oven; do not turn oven off.

Cranberry KitchenAid Artisan 5-Quart Stand Mixer Review - Customer Review

KitchenAid Artisan 5-Quart Stand Mixers
KitchenAid Artisan 5-Quart Stand Mixers

If you are needing a mixer to mix any of your cake batters, this is the only one I would buy.

Read this customers review:

I love this thing! I have friends who've had KitchenAid mixers for years and they've always raved about their quality and durability. Well, I finally went for it and I have absolutely no regrets. You want to talk about a solid piece of kitchen machinery? This is the epitome of what "Made in America" used to mean! Unlike all the cheapo mixers out there, I'm completely confident that this thing will even outlast ME! The only problem is now I'm wondering why I waited so long!

-----> This may help some of you - I read a review somewhere in which the reviewer gave this mixer a poor rating because it left dry ingredients in the bottom of the bowl - read the instruction booklet, people. It clearly states that if this occurs (or if the attachments scrape the bowl), there is an adjustment screw that raises or lowers the mixing assembly. I had to slightly lower mine and it now incorporates everything into the mix. The KitchenAid mixers are well worth the money....or you can keep buying junk mixers every couple years...the choice is yours.

Note:The KitchenAid Artisan 5-Quart Stand Mixer is available in 21 different colors!

Click Here for Details:

KitchenAid Artisan 5-Quart Stand Mixers

Cranberry Cheesecake Sour Cream Topping
Cranberry Cheesecake Sour Cream Topping | Source

Sour Cream Topping:

1-1/4 c. sour cream

1/4 c. granulated sugar

1 T. Grand Marnier*

1/4 t. grated orange zest

While cheesecake is baking, whisk together sour cream ingredients until smooth; set in refrigerator until needed.

When cheesecake comes out of the oven, spread the sour cream mixture over top of cheesecake with a thin metal icing spatula.

You will have a little left over; save for later.

Return the cheesecake to the oven and bake for 10 minutes longer.

Remove from oven and cool completely on a wire rack for 1 hour in pan,

After 1 hour, remove the foil from the bottom of the springform pan (if using) and use it to cover the top of the cake loosely, without touching the top, and refrigerate until well chilled, at least 4 hours; preferably overnight.

If not using foil on the bottom, just cover the cheesecake with plastic wrap, making sure it does not touch the top of the cake.

Wire racks are a necessity when cooling any baked item from casseroles to cakes!

Unfortunately many wire racks are are coated wire which can only be used for cooling and cannot double in the oven as a roasting rack.

This cooling rack can be used for both. I personally will only buy wire rack that can be used both ways. I mean who is going to remember a few months down the road which cooling racks you own can or cannot go into the oven?

Stainless Steel Cooling Rack - Oven Safe Baking Rack. Fits Half Sheet Cookie Pan

To Finish the Gourmet Cranberry Grand Marnier Cheesecake

Gourmet Cranberry Grand Marnier Cheesecake
Gourmet Cranberry Grand Marnier Cheesecake | Source

With a long thin metal spatula, loosen pan side from chilled cheese cake and remove.

Loosen cake from pan bottom by sliding metal spatula under cake. It helps to warm the bottom of the pan slightly to soften the cold butter on pan bottom.

Slide onto cake stand or plate. Use the last of the sour cream mixture that you saved to touch up any thin spots. Spoon the cranberries, mounding slightly, onto center of cake.

Dust with powder sugar if desired, or serve with whipped cream dusted with fresh ground nutmeg.

Two Gourmet Cranberry Grand Marnier Cheesecakes

Two Gourmet Cranberry Grand Marnier Cheesecakes
Two Gourmet Cranberry Grand Marnier Cheesecakes | Source

A Piece of Cranberry Cheesecake for You - Served with a Wee Bit of Whipped Cream

One piece of cranberry cheesecake with whipped cream
One piece of cranberry cheesecake with whipped cream | Source

Don't you want to just gobble this piece right up? It is just as decadently delicious as it looks. For the sake of the photo I just used a can of whipped cream to squirt on top.

When I actually serve to my guest I whip real heavy cream with a scant teaspoon of granulated white sugar and a teaspoon of vanilla. Taste the whipped cream and add more sugar if you like it sweeter.

An orange and vanilla flavored whipped cream also works really well with the cranberries.

Just add 1 teaspoon of the orange liqueur of choice (such as Grand Marnier) or 1 teaspoon of pure orange extract. I would cut the amount of vanilla down to 1/2 teaspoon.

Sprinkle with a light dusting of freshly grated nutmeg,

A Beautiful Cheesecake Topped with a Whole Berry Cranberry Sauce

Finished Whole Cranberry Cheesecake
Finished Whole Cranberry Cheesecake

On this cranberry cheesecake, I didn't leave the berries in the saucepan to cook as long so that the berries stayed whole instead of cooking down into a chunky sauce. I little more sugar can be added for a glossier finish to the berries.

Do You Think You Will Make this Delicious Cheesecake? - Let Us Know


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