Tart-sweet cranberry sauce is drizzled in the middle of the batter before baking to create a stunning and flavorful look. This Christmas dessert is a sweet way to finish a holiday meal.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. For crust, in a small mixing bowl, beat butter with an electric mixer on low to medium speed for 30 seconds. Add brown sugar and the 1/2 teaspoon vanilla; beat until fluffy. Add the 1-1/4 cups flour and the pecans. Beat just until combined (do not overbeat). Using floured fingers, press dough onto the bottom and 1-1/2 inches up the side of a 9-inch springform pan. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes or until crust is lightly browned. Cool in pan on a wire rack.
- Meanwhile, for sauce, in a medium saucepan, stir together 1 cup granulated sugar and the cornstarch. Stir in cranberries and the 1 cup orange juice. Cook and stir over medium heat until thickened and bubbly. Cook and stir for 2 minutes more. Remove half of the sauce (about 1 cup); cool slightly. Cover and chill remaining sauce until ready to serve.
- Pour the 1 cup sauce into a food processor or blender. Cover and process or blend until smooth. Set aside.
- For filling, in a large mixing bowl, combine cream cheese, 1 cup granulated sugar, the sour cream, and the 2 tablespoons flour. Beat on low to medium speed until combined. Add eggs. Beat just until combined (do not overbeat). Using a wooden spoon, stir in whipping cream, orange peel, the 1 tablespoon orange juice, and the 1 teaspoon vanilla (filling will be slightly thin).
- Pour about half of the filling into the crust-lined pan. Drizzle with the pureed sauce. Carefully pour remaining filling into pan, covering the sauce as much as possible. Place springform pan in a shallow baking pan. Bake about 1 hour or until the center appears nearly set when gently shaken.
- Cool in pan on a wire rack for 15 minutes. Using a thin narrow spatula, loosen crust from side of pan. Cool cheesecake for 30 minutes. Remove side of pan. Cool cheesecake for 1 hour more. Cover and chill for 6 to 24 hours.
- Just before serving, spoon some of the chilled sauce on top of cheesecake. Cut cheesecake into wedges. Serve with remaining sauce. Makes 16 servings.