We're not crazy about drinking the traditional holiday eggnog. In our family, people either love it or hate it.
But we ADORE this cheesecake!
It's rich and creamy, tastes fabulous and will compliment any holiday dessert table.
We can't believe the Holidays are around the corner.
We're already making a list for our Thanksgiving menu and will be adding this cheesecake to it.
Pair this cheesecake with a tablespoon of cranberry compote beside it, and you'll have a wonderful holiday cheesecake to serve family and friends, and give them something to talk about the next day!
The sweet and tart flavors in the cranberry compote compliment this cheesecake till no end! And it adds that warm holiday feeling to your menu.
Here is a quick and easy recipe for cranberry compote: one can of whole berry cranberry sauce, heat in a small saucepan with some orange juice and sugar for a few minutes or so, then allow it to cool in the fridge before serving.
This recipe is relatively easy to follow, but you will need to put a little time aside to make this cheesecake, frosting and the cranberry compote. It's easier if you plan on making this entire dessert the night before, then adding the frosting and pecans the next day.
Cheesecake always tastes better after its been chilled over night.
Holiday Cheesecake with Candied Pecans and Cranberry Compote
For the Crust:
- 1 + 1/4 cups graham cracker crumbs
- 3 Tbsp. sugar
- 1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
- 6 Tbsp. unsalted butter - melted
For Cheesecake Filling:
- 3 pounds cheese cream, at room temperature
- 1+1/2 cups sugar
- 1 tsp. ground nutmeg
- 6 eggs, at room temperature
- 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
For Mascarpone Frosting:
- 1 (8 ounce) mascarpone cheese
- 1+1/2 ounces pure Grade B maple syrup
- optional: 1 ounce of brandy
- 12 to 15 candied pecans ( I used store-bought)
- whipped cream, as garnish
- ground cinnamon, as garnish
For Cranberry Compote:
- 1 can of whole berry cranberry sauce
- 1 tsp. orange juice
- 1 tsp. lemon juice
- 1 tsp. sugar
Make the Crust:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees and remove the top rack.
Lightly grease a 9-inch spring-form pan.
Mix graham cracker crumbs, sugar, nutmeg and melted butter in a bowl.
Press mixture onto bottom of the pan and bake it for 5 to 6 minutes. Remove
and set aside to cool before adding the cheesecake mixture.
Cream Cheese Filling:
1. REDUCE oven temperature to 300 degrees.
2. Place cream cheese, sugar and nutmeg in a large bowl and mix on low speed
beat with a hand-held mixer until smooth. Add eggs one at a time, mixing enough
to incorporate. Add vanilla last, stirring to make sure all ingredients are well blended.
3. Tear 3 large squares ( 12 x 14) of aluminum foil, or 1 larger square of heavy duty foil wrap (18 x 18 ). Stack foil sheets flat on counter and place the spring-form pan in the middle of the stack.
4. Pour cream cheese mixture into the prepared crust.
5. Once the pan is watertight, place it in a large roasting pan or larger baking pan.
6. Place this in the oven with the rack slightly pulled out to give you easy access
for adding water. Carefully and very slowly pour hot water into the larger pan until the water reaches halfway up the side of the spring-form pan. Be careful not to get water in or on the cheesecake.
BAKE cheesecake for 1 hour.
Carefully remove the pan from oven, remove cheesecake from the water bath and set it aside to cool. Once cooled, place it in the refrigerate, uncovered to finish setting, at least 4 hours. Then cover with foil wrap and refrigerate for few more hours, or over night is best.
Make the Frosting:
In the meantime, prepare the mascarpone frosting.
In a bowl, beat mascarpone with maple syrup until creamy and smooth.
Optional: add in 1 ounce of brandy. Do not over whip.
Refrigerate until ready to frost.
Heat all ingredients in a small pot for about 2 to 3 minutes.
Remove and cool completely. Chill before serving.
NOTE: Before frosting the cheesecake, allow the mascarpone frosting to warm up at room temperature for about 5 minutes or so. This will allow you to frost the cake easily.
When ready to serve:
Unmold the side of the pan. Place the cheesecake onto a large serving plate and frost the top of cake with the mascarpone frosting and also lightly coat around the sides.
Decorate with some candied pecans on the top and sides. Gently sprinkle with some cinnamon over the cheesecake. Serve with the cranberry compote on the side.
Optional: Garnish with whipped cream with each slice.
Serves 12 to 14
Recipe adapted by Wildflower Bakery, Charlestonmag.com