Monday, February 10, 2014

Blood Orange-Saffron Cheesecake

We adore cheesecake in this household. So, that was my dessert of choice yesterday. While we warmed up after a drippy hike and watched movies this afternoon, I experimented with a cheesecake that had two of my favorite ingredients: blood orange and saffron. Too bad my timing was waaaaay off. This takes a minimum of 10 hours, including chilling time. And ideally it takes more. As it was, I couldn't slice into this until 9 o'clock in the evening. Whoops. The boys will get to try it today...and Jake and I enjoyed it last night with a cordial of saffron liqueur, Liquore Strega. Cheers!

3 C crushed graham crackers
1/2 C (one stick) butter, melted
2 T organic coconut sugar
zest from one organic blood orange

Mix all of the ingredients together until moist clumps form. Press crumb mixture into the bottom of a springform pan that's been wrapped in foil. Chill crust while preparing filling.

3 - 8 oz. packages cream cheese, room temperature
3/4 C organic granulated sugar
4 large eggs
2 C organic sour cream
1 t pure vanilla extract
1 pinch saffron

Position rack in center of oven and preheat to 350°F. Beat cream cheese in large mixing bowl until fluffy. Beat in sugar. Beat in eggs - one at a time. Finally, mix in sour cream, saffron, and vanilla extract. Spoon filling into prepared crust.

Place springform pan in large roasting pan. Pour enough boiling water into roasting pan to come halfway up sides of springform pan. Bake until cheesecake puffs around edges, about 1 hour 15 minutes. Turn off oven. Let cake stand in oven 1 hour, leaving oven door ajar.

I know there are things to do to get your cheesecakes not to crack. But, since I cover it with a sour cream topping, I don't worry about it too much.

Sour Cream Topping
2 C organic sour cream
1 T vanilla
1 T organic granulated sugar

Beat the ingredients together. Spread over the cheese cake and bake in a 350°F oven for 5 minutes. Let cool for and hour and prepare the blood orange glaze.

Blood Orange Glaze
1 packet unflavored gelatin
Juice from 4-5 blood oranges
4 T organic granulated sugar
1/2 t cornstarch

In a small bowl, sprinkle gelatin over 4 tablespoons of the juice; let stand until soft, about 10 minutes. In a small saucepan, bring sugar and 8 tablespoons juice to a boil. Combine remaining juice and cornstarch in a small bowl. Stir until dissolved; then, whisk into boiling blood orange juice. Remove from heat. Stir in softened gelatin. Cool to lukewarm, and pour over cake.

Run a butter knife around pan edge to loosen cake. Cool completely. Remove foil from pan sides. Chill some more. Ideally you want to chill the cheesecake overnight. I only had yesterday, so it chilled for about 6 hours. Remove pan sides to serve.

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