Today’s recipe is a proper November dessert: a creamy, no-bake(-ish) cheesecake bar with a tart, orangey cranberry topping. While the dessert is composed of three different layers, I can assure you, it’s a no-fuss sweet treat you can whip up in less than an hour.
Cranberry Orange Cheesecake
Servings: 9 to 12 servings
Prep: 20 minutes
Cook: 25 minutes
- 7 oz (190 g) graham crackers or petit beurre biscuits
- 1 stick (113 g) butter, melted
- 1 tablespoon water
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 cup (25 g) powdered sugar
- 1 cup (250 g) cold heavy cream
- 8 oz (226 g) cream cheese
- 3/4 cup (75 g) powdered sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 12 oz (340 g) frozen or fresh cranberries
- 1 tablespoon orange zest, about the zest of one medium orange
- 1/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
- 3/4 cup (150 g) sugar
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2 teaspoon orange blossom water, optional
- 3 tablespoons butter
- Heat the oven to 375°F (190°C). Line an 8-inch (20-cm) square or round pan with parchment paper on the bottom.
- To turn the graham crackers or biscuits into a fine powder, process them in a food processor until fine, or add them to a ziplock bag and crush them using a rolling pin until fine. In a medium bowl, combine the fine biscuit powder, melted butter, water, sugar, and salt. Mix until combined. Add the mixture to the pan, and press to evenly distribute the mixture all throughout the bottom of the pan, using your hands, or a glass. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, until golden brown. Set aside to cool.
- Beat the heavy cream to stiff peaks using a hand whisk, hand mixer, or stand mixer. Mix the cream cheese with sugar and salt in a medium bowl. Fold the whipped cream in the cheese mixture in 3 batches, using a silicone spatula or wooden spoon. Pour the cheesecake mixture over the graham cracker/biscuit crumb layer. Evenly spread with an offset spatula. Set in the fridge or freezer to cool.
- Combine the cranberries, orange zest, orange juice, vanilla, sugar, and orange blossom water in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Simmer the mixture until the cranberries have burst and the sauce looks jammy, for 8 to 10 minutes. Add the butter and blend the mixture until smooth. I prefer an immersion blender for this. If using a regular counter blender, make sure you remove the plug from the lid (that small cap in the middle of the big lid) before blending, this will prevent your blender from building too much pressure while processing the steamy sauce.
- Strain the cranberry sauce through a mesh sieve, to remove the seeds. Pour the sauce all over the cheesecake layer, and evenly spread on top.
- Refrigerate for at least 5 hours, preferably overnight. Slice and serve.