Arizona Sunset Cheesecake

★★★★★ 1 Review
Fishmanswife avatar
By Jessi SpottedBird
from Old Brooklyn, OH


  • 32 oz
    cream cheese
  • 2/3 c
  • 1 Tbsp
    orange zest, grated
  • 2 Tbsp
    cranberry liqueur
  • 8 oz
    white chocolate, melted
  • 4
  • 4 c
  • 2 c
  • 3
    oranges, unpeeled and cut in paper-thin slices
  • orange peel, 3
  • 1 1/2 c
    orange juice
  • 1 1/2 c
  • 1/3 c
  • 1 lg
    egg, separated
  • 1/2 c
    butter, softened
  • 1 can
    cranberry sauce, with whole berries
  • 2 Tbsp
  • 1 Tbsp
  • 1 Tbsp
    lemon zest, grated
  • 1 Tbsp
    lemon juice
  • whipped cream, optional

How To Make

  • 1
    Shortbread Crust: Preheat the oven to 400 degrees .
  • 2
    Working on a large flat surface, such as a pastry board, place flour, pecans and sugar in the center of the surface and mix together; form a small depression or well in the center of the mound.
  • 3
    Add the egg yolk and the softened butter to the well, then blend these with the dry mixture.
  • 4
    Mix the ingredients thoroughly using your hands -- there is no substitute for warm hands; shape the dough into a ball and wrap in plastic wrap and chill for at least 10 minutes.
  • 5
    Roll out the dough to a thickness of about 1/4-inch - You should have a circle of about 11 inches in diameter.
  • 6
    TIP: For best results, roll out your dough between 2 sheets of waxed paper, then peel away the paper and cut the crust in a 9 inch circle.
  • 7
    Place the circle inside a 9 inch springform pan; prick the crust several times with a fork to keep the crust from puffing up during the baking.
  • 8
    Place the springform pan in the oven and bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until light brown; allow to cool.
  • 9
    Using the leftover dough, line the sides of the springform pan; press the dough against the sides of the pan, smoothing it so as to have a continuous layer of crust all the way around the sides of the pan - Make sure that the side crust meets the bottom crust all the way around.
  • 10
    Brush the reserved egg white onto the shell, covering the bottom and sides - this will seal the dough and keep it from becoming soggy; set aside until ready to use.
  • 11
    Cranberry Glaze Filling: Mix the sugar and cornstarch together in a small saucepan; stir in the cranberry sauce.
  • 12
    Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until thick; stir in the lemon zest and lemon juice, then set aside to cool slightly.
  • 13
    White Chocolate Filling: Reset the oven to 350 degrees; boil the orange juice and piece of orange peel in a heavy medium saucepan until the juice is reduced to 3 tablespoons - about 12 minutes.
  • 14
    Remove and discard the strip of orange peel and set aside the reduced orange juice.
  • 15
    Using an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese, sugar, grated orange zest, liqueur and reduced orange juice until smooth.
  • 16
    Beat in the melted white chocolate and then the eggs, one at a time, beating just until combined; pour the cranberry glaze filling into the prepared crust, spreading evenly.
  • 17
    Pour the white chocolate filling over the cranberry layer and bake about 50 minutes (the top will be dry and the sides puffed slightly - the center will not be set).
  • 18
    Move cheesecake to a wire rack and cool completely to room temperature; chill in the refrigerator overnight.
  • 19
    Candied Oranges Topping: Cover a wire rack with waxed paper; set aside.
  • 20
    Combine the water and sugar in a heavy shallow wide skillet; stir over medium heat until the sugar dissolves.
  • 21
    Simmer 5 minutes longer; add the orange slices 1 at a time and adjust the heat so that the syrup bubbles only around the edges of the pan.
  • 22
    Cook the oranges for one hour; turn over the top layer of oranges and cook until the oranges are translucent and the orange peels tender, about another one hour longer.
  • 23
    Lift and drain each orange slice out of the syrup, and arrange the slices in a single layer on the prepared rack; let dry 1 hour.
  • 24
    Boil the orange-sugar syrup until thick, about 6 minutes.
  • 25
    Loosen and remove the sides of the springform pan; set the cheesecake on a serving dish.
  • 26
    Overlap the candied orange slices around the top of the cheesecake.
  • 27
    Reheat the orange syrup, if necessary, and brush over the orange slices; drizzle any remainder over each serving.
  • 28
    Garnish: whipped cream
  • 29
    NOTE: You may substitute grapefruits for the oranges in the Candied Oranges Topping if you prefer.

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