White Chocolate Cheesecake with Port-Glazed Cranberries

White Chocolate Cheesecake with Port-Glazed Cranberries
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12 ounces crisp gingersnap cookies
2 1/2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 teaspoon ground ginger
3 1/2 ounces (about) unsalted butter, melted, cooled

1 pound good-quality white chocolate, finely chopped
2 pounds cream cheese, room temperature
1/4 cup plus 1½ tablespoons granulated sugar
4 large eggs, room temperature
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
1 cup sour cream

Cranberry topping:
1 tablespoon water
1 teaspoon unflavored gelatin
1 cup ruby Port
1 cup sugar
1 whole star anise
1 cinnamon stick
2 whole cloves
2 2-inch strips orange peel
2 cups Ocean Spray® Fresh Cranberries


To make the crust:
Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 320°F. Butter a 9-inch- diameter springform pan. In a food processor, finely grind the gingersnap cookies, sugar, and ground ginger. Blend in enough butter until moist clumps form. Press onto the bottom and three-fourths of the way up the sides of the pan. Chill while preparing the filling.

To make the filling:
Stir the white chocolate in the top of a double boiler placed over hot water until the chocolate melts. Cool to lukewarm, stirring occasionally.

Using an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese and ¼ cup of the sugar in a large bowl, scraping the sides as needed, for about 3 minutes, or until fluffy. Add the eggs 1 at a time, beating just until combined after each addition. Beat in the vanilla and ground ginger. Gradually beat in the melted white chocolate. Stop the machine and scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl occasionally, and continue beating until very well blended.

Transfer the filling to the prepared crust. Bake for about 50 minutes, or until the filling is loosely set and moves slightly when the pan is gently shaken.

In a small bowl, stir the sour cream and remaining 1½ tablespoons of sugar to blend. Spoon the sour cream mixture onto the hot baked cheesecake and smooth it over the top. Continue baking the cheesecake for about 10 minutes, or until the topping is just set. Transfer the cheesecake to a rack. Run a small knife around the sides of the cheesecake to loosen it from the pan. Cool completely. Chill overnight.

To make the cranberry topping:
Place 1 tablespoon water in small bowl. Sprinkle gelatin over. Let stand 5 minutes.

Bring Port, sugar, star anise, cinnamon stick, cloves, and orange peel to boil in heavy large saucepan over high heat, stirring until sugar dissolves. Reduce heat to medium and simmer 5 minutes. Add cranberries and simmer mixture until cranberries begin to pop, stirring occasionally, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat. Stir some of hot cranberry liquid into gelatin mixture in small bowl to melt gelatin; stir gelatin mixture into cranberry mixture in saucepan. Transfer to medium bowl; refrigerate until cold. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and keep refrigerated.)

Just before serving, remove the pan sides to release the cheesecake. Cut the cheesecake into wedges. Spoon the cherry mixture over and around each wedge and serve.

Recipe Copyright Chef Curtis Stone, 2017

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White Chocolate Cheesecake with Port-Glazed Cranberries


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