This Cranberry Orange Cheesecake is full of flavor, and perfect for the holidays!
Orange Cheesecake Ingredients:
- 1 3/4 cups ground gingersnaps
- 1/3 cup unsalted butter, melted
- pinch of salt
- 1 cups sugar
- 3 (8-ounce) bricks PHILADELPHIA Neufchatel (Low-Fat) cream cheese, softened
- 1 cup Greek yogurt
- 2 tsp. vanilla extract, store-bought or homemade
- 3 eggs
- zest of one orange
Cranberry Orange Topping Ingredients:
- 4 cups (1 12-ounce bag) fresh cranberries
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 cup water
- (topping) zest of one orange
To Make The Orange Cheesecake:
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Use a food processor to combine ground gingersnaps, butter and salt. (Or stir together in a large mixing bowl until combined.) Press mixture firmly into the bottom of a 9-inch springform pan (or up the sides, if desired). Bake for 10 minutes, then remove and let cool. Reduce oven heat to 325°F.
- Once the pan reaches room temperature, carefully wrap the outside of the pan in 2 layers of heavy-duty aluminum foil, being sure that there are NO gaps where water could seep through. (**If you are doubtful about this step, read in notes below for an alternative water bath in which the pan does not actually touch water.**) Place the pan in a large roasting dish (or any pan larger than the springform), and bring a tea kettle or pot of water to boil in preparation for the water bath. Set aside.
- Using an electric mixer, beat cream cheese on medium speed for 3 minutes until smooth. Add the sugar and beat for an additional minute until well blended. Add Greek yogurt and vanilla, and beat for an additional minute, stopping partway to scrape the bottom of the bowl with a spatula. Add eggs, one at a time, beating on low speed after each addition just until blended. Do not overbeat! Pour into crust.
- Place the double pans in the oven on a shelf on the bottom third of the oven. Very carefully use a tea kettle (or large measuring cup) to pour the boiling water in the larger pan to form a water bath around the springform pan, so that it comes up about 1-inch around the springform.
- Close the oven door, and bake about 1 hour 30 min, or until center is almost set. (The cake should still jiggle ever so slightly.) Turn oven off, and open oven door slightly. Let cheesecake set in oven 1 hour. Then remove cheesecake from oven, carefully run a knife around the edges of the cake, and then let cool to room temperature. Refrigerate at least 4 hours or overnight.
- Remove springform rim, and top cheesecake with cranberry orange topping just before serving. Store leftover cheesecake in refrigerator in a covered container.
To Make The Orange Cranberry Topping:
- Bring water and sugar to boil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add cranberries, cover, and cook for about 5 minutes, or until the cranberries have all just popped. Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature. (I popped my berries in the freezer to speed up this process a bit.)
- There will be quite a bit of excess liquid. So use a slotted spoon to transfer cranberries to the top of the cheesecake, and sprinkle with the zest of one orange.
**If you do not feel confident creating a really well-sealed aluminum foil wrapping around the springform pan, then just place a 9×13 baking dish (or any size baking dish) on the rack below the cheesecake in the oven, fill IT full of boiling water, close the oven door and cook according to directions.
I find that actually submerging the springform pan IN the water helps it to cook more evenly and avoid cracking. But this method is also great, and then you don’t have to worry about the potential of water seeping into the springform pan while cooking.