Grand Marnier Cheesecake With Cranberry Topping (Thanksgiving)

READY IN: 4hrs
SERVES: 12-16




  • For crust: Position rack in center of oven and preheat to 350 degrees F. Butter 9 1/2 inch round springform pan. Mix all ingredients in bowl. Press mixture firmly onto bottom and up sides of pan to within 1/2 inch of top edge (I find it easiest to do this with a straight-sided and flat-bottomed scoop). Place pan on a heavy baking sheet and bake 10 minutes. Maintain oven temperature. Transfer crust to rack and cool completely. Set aside.
  • For filling: Using electric mixer, beat cream cheese in large bowl until very smooth. Beat in sugar, Grand Marnier, cream, vanilla, and orange zest. Add eggs and yolks and beat just until blended. Pour filling into prepared pan. Bake until top puffs and is golden brown, about 50 minutes. Transfer to rack and cool 15 minute (cake will fall as it cools). Maintain oven temperature.
  • Meanwhile, prepare topping: Blend ingredients in small bowl. Pour over cooled filling, spreading with back of spoon. Bake 5 minutes. Transfer to rack and cool completely. Cover and refrigerate at least 4 hours or overnight.
  • Cranberry Topping: In pot, combine cranberries, sugar, marmalade, and Grand Marnier. Over medium heat cook til mix simmers and cranberries start to burst 6-8 minutes. Remove from heat, cool completely. Transfer to covered container and refrigerate until ready to use.
  • Candied Orange Peel: Using vegetable peeler, cut peel from orange in 1 inch wide strips. Cut away any white pith from peel. Cut peel into 3 inch long 1/8 inch wide julienne. Blanch peel in small saucepan of boiling water 1 minute. Drain; rinse peel under cold water. Repeat blanching and rinsing of orange peel twice.
  • Cook 1/2 cup water and sugar in heavy small saucepan over low heat, swirling pan occasionally until sugar dissolves. Increase heat and bring to simmer. Add peel and cook until glaze forms and almost all liquid evaporates, swirling pan occasionally, about 10 minutes. Transfer peel to waxed paper lined plate, separating each piece to prevent sticking. Cool completely. (Can be prepared 2 days ahead. Cover and let stand at room temperature.).
  • Remove cheesecake from fridge one hour before serving. Run a small sharp knife around edge of pan. Release pan sides. Set cheesecake on decorative platter. Carefully spoon Cranberry Topping atop cheesecake, leaving a 1-inch border around the outer edge.
  • Using electric mixer, beat 1/2 cup chilled heavy cream in medium bowl until soft peaks form. Sweeten with 2 tsp powdered sugar and 1 1/2 tsp Grand Marnier, and beat to firm peaks. Spoon cream into pastry bag fitted with star tip, and pipe a decorative border around the outer edge. Arrange orange peel atop cream.