I was waiting for just the right time and it presented itself when a good friend of mine asked me to make a few desserts for various parties she had coming up. Luckily for me she didn't have any preference for exactly what type of dessert she wanted so I told her I knew just the thing to make.
Since the dessert was for someone else I decided to go with a tried and true New York Cheesecake for the actual cheesecake. It is from one of my very first cookbooks, Borden's Quick and Easy Desserts, that I purchased when I was living in Toronto, Canada. The cranberry topping for the Cooking Light recipe listed Chambord (raspberry liqueur) as an ingredient but I really didn't want to go to the expense of buying a bottle. So instead I decided to add some raspberries and a little port to the cranberries as they simmered. I really liked this combination of flavors. The cranberries and the raspberries played really well off of one another, sort of like a sweet-tart flavor.
When preparing this cheesecake I made the cranberry-raspberry topping first so that it has time to cool. By the time I made the base and filling the topping was ready to be pureed and then dolloped and swirled on the top of the cheesecake. This is one pretty cheesecake.
Cranberry-Raspberry Swirl Cheesecake(adapted from Cooking Light and Borden's Quick and Easy Desserts)
- 1 1/2 cups fresh cranberries
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 cup raspberries
- 1/4 cup port
- 3 tablespoons water
- 30 Nilla Wafers
- 3 tablespoons butter, melted
- 4 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
- 4 eggs
- 1 (14 oz) can condensed milk
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
- Preheat oven to 325°.
- Place cranberries, sugar, raspberries, port, and water in a saucepan; boil. Cook 8 minutes or until cranberries pop and mixture is syrupy. Cool 20 minutes. Place mixture in a food processor; process 1 minute or until smooth.
- Wrap the removable bottom of a 9-inch springform pan with a layer non-stick foil.
- Place crackers in a food processor; process until finely ground. Drizzle with melted butter; pulse until combined.
- Press mixture into bottom prepared pan.
- Beat cream cheese until fluffy in large bowl.
- Gradually beat in sweetened condensed milk until smooth.
- Add eggs, flour, and vanilla; mix well.
- Pour into prepared pan.
- Spoon small circles of cranberry-raspberry mixture over filling; swirl together using the tip of a knife.
- Bake at 325° for 50 minutes or until center of cheesecake barely moves when pan is touched.
- Remove cheesecake from oven and run a knife around outside edge to reduce cracking.
- Cool on a wire rack.
- Cover and chill 8 hours.