April Desserts… Cranberry Cheesecake

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Now, lets get started.

    * 2 cups graham cracker or shortbread cookie crumbs
    * 1/3 cup butter or margarine, melted
    * 1/3 cup water
    * 2/3 cup sugar
    * 2 cups fresh cranberries
    * 1 teaspoon lemon juice
    * FILLING:
    * 4 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
    * 1 cup sugar
    * 5 eggs
    * 1 tablespoon lemon juice

Pans: one 9 inch springform pan


1. We are going to use a warm oven for this recipe… just 300 degrees.
In a springform pan, combine the graham cracker crumbs with the butter and press into place. This will be baked for about 6 minutes. Set aside to cool.

2. Now we are going to work on the topping for the dessert. Place the water and sugar into a pot and bring to a boil and allow to bubble for about a minute. Add berries, put on a lid and reduce the heat. They will start popping and can make quite a mess. Most of the berries should have popped after a couple of minutes. Add the lemon juice and then transfer the mixture to a mesh seive and press through. Set aside to cool.

3. Prepare the oven for the next step. You will need the oven to be set at 350 degrees.   

4. Next comes the filling. Start by beating the cream cheese until it is nice and fluffy. Very slowly beat in the sugar followed by the eggs. Keep on beating… very important. Add the lemon juice, stir a little more and then pour onto the cooled crust. Now comes the fun part. Take a little of the cranberry filling and cut it into the cream cheese mixture to give it a marbling effect. Bake for 45 minutes and then allow to cool (in the oven) for two hours. Obviously, the oven will be turned off!  After the dessert has cooled completely, and top with remaining cranberry sauce. Now here is the hard part… you will then transfer the cheesecake to the refrigerator overnight. No, you can’t eat it until the next day! Sad but true.

Kitchen Tips…

1 tablespoon equals 3 tsps
2 tablespoons equals 1 ounce
4 tablespoons equals ¼ cup
5 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon equals 1/3 of a cup
8 tablespoons equals ½ cup
12 tablespoons equal ¾ cup
16 tablespoons equal 1 cup
4 cups equals 1 quart
4 quarts equals 1 gal

1 cup semi sweet chocolate pieces equals 1 –  6 ounce package
2 cups granulated sugar equals 1 pound of sugar
4 cups sifted confectioners sugar equals 1 pound of confectioners sugar
2 ¼ cup pack brown sugar equals 1 pound brown sugar
3 cups raisins equal 1 fifteen ounce pack
3 cups of shredded coconut equals a half pound of shredded coconut
3 to 4 tablespoon lemon juice equals one lemon

Don’t forget…
1.    Put on an apron before you begin baking or cooking.
2.    Read the recipe twice… chances are you will miss something first time around.
3.    Place a sheet of paper over the recipe page that you aren’t using. Trust me, it is very easy to start following the directions of the wrong recipe.
4.    Place all ingredients on the counter ahead of time. That way you will know if you have every ingredient you need.
5.    Keep all of your measuring cups and spoons in one drawer. It’s easier to find them that way! And you might want to have more than one set. Again, it just makes things that much easier.

Cleaning the Kitchen
1.    Fill the sink with hot soapy water and as you use items, drop them in the water to soak.
2.    When you are taking items out of the refrigerator, spot check to see if any shelves need to be wiped down. Doing it on a regular basis makes the job that much easier.
3.    Same goes for the stove. Wipe the surface every time you use it and check the oven as well. Burnt on spills wipe up easier if they haven been baked on numerous times.



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