Valentine's Day Cranberry Cheesecake
Yield: 10 to 12 servingsPretty in Pink. Chocolate may be de rigueur on February 14, but this beautiful cheesecake is sinfully hard to resist. It was a favorite of the late Sylvia Van Hazinga of Hillsboro, New Hampshire.
Ingredients:1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
2 cups cinnamon graham cracker crumbs
Heat the oven to 350°F.
Make the crust: In a medium saucepan melt the butter over low heat. Remove from the heat, add the crumbs, and blend with a fork. Press the mixture into the bottom and sides of a 9-inch springform pan. Bake for 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool. Reduce the oven to 325°F.
Ingredients:2 pounds softened cream cheese
1 cup sugar
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 tablespoon grated lemon rind juice of 1 lemon
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 cup sour cream
2 cups (a 16-ounce can) jellied cranberry sauce
Make the filling: In a large mixing bowl combine filling ingredients- except the cranberry sauce-and beat until smooth. (A blender, a food processor, or a strong arm works equally well; do it in batches if necessary.) Pour one-half of the batter into a large bowl and set aside. Pour the other half of the batter into the crumb crust. Add the cranberry sauce to the reserved batter and blend until smooth. Pour a ring of the cranberry batter on top of the batter in the crust and stir with a knife to marbleize it. Place the pan in a larger baking dish and add water to come halfway up the sides. Bake for 1-1/2 hours. Turn off the oven and let the cake cool inside. (This helps prevent cracking.) When completely cool, gently remove the cake from the pan and set it on a serving plate.
Make the topping (optional): Combine ingredients and spread the mixture over the cooled, turned-out cake. (This hides any cracks that might appear.) Refrigerate at least 4 hours before serving.