Cranberry Filling: In a
medium sized saucepan, place cranberries, sugar, and water. Then, over
medium-high heat, cook the ingredients until boiling, stirring to dissolve the
sugar. Reduce the heat to medium low and gently boil the filling, stirring often
to prevent the filling from burning, until it becomes thick and syrupy and
reduced to about 2 cups (480 ml). This will take about 20-30 minutes. Remove from heat, stir in the zest, and let
cool completely before using. (I like to make and then refrigerate the cranberry
filling for a day.)
Swirl Cheesecake: Grease, or spray with
a non stick vegetable spray,
a 9 inch (23 cm) round springform pan. Preheat oven to 350
degrees F (177 degrees C) and place the oven rack in the center of the oven.
Crust: In a medium sized bowl
combine the graham cracker crumbs, sugar, and melted butter. Press the crumbs evenly over the bottom and about 1 inch (2.5 cm) up the sides of the springform pan. Cover and refrigerate while you make the filling.
For Filling: In the bowl of your electric
mixer (can use a hand mixer) place the cream cheese, sugar, and flour. Beat on medium speed until
smooth (about 2 minutes), scraping down the bowl as needed. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating
well (about 30 seconds) after each
addition. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the
cream and vanilla extract and beat until incorporated. Remove the crust
from the refrigerator and pour half the cheesecake filling into the pan. Take
one-half cup (120 ml) of the cranberry filling and place spoonfuls over the
cheesecake batter and then swirl gently with a knife. Top with the remaining
cheesecake batter. Spoon another one-half cup of the cranberry filling over the
cheesecake batter and swirl gently with a knife. (Leftover cranberry filling can be served with
the baked cheesecake.) Place the cheesecake pan on a
larger baking pan (to catch any drips) and place in the oven.
Bake for 15 minutes and
then lower the oven temperature to 250 degrees F (120 degrees C) and continue to
bake for another 60 to 70 minutes or until firm and only the center of the
cheesecake looks a little wet and wobbly. Remove from oven and carefully run a
knife or spatula around the inside edge of pan to loosen the cheesecake (helps
prevent the surface from cracking as it cools).
Let cool before
covering with plastic wrap and refrigerating. This cheesecake tastes best
after being refrigerated at least eight hours or overnight. Serves about 12-14 people.