Monday, April 26, 2010

Orange cheesecake with raspberry sauce

We've never really done anything big for Easter. This year, because of my newfound pregnancy-induced nausea, we didn't even do anything big for Christmas. (Good thing we blew out Thanksgiving since we found out we were expecting four days later!)

Even though I've been feeling better, I've still been exhausted from working two jobs and taking a class. I wanted to keep Easter low-key, food-wise, and had to work Easter afternoon at my full-time job, anyway.

But I did want to bake something new.

I asked my husband what he wanted for an Easter dessert. I was thinking a cream pie. Or an elaborate cake. He suggested "jelly beans and Peeps." Sigh. I asked him to be serious. He responded with "chocolate bunnies."

It seemed I was on my own.

I came home from my part-time job and made some lunch. I looked over at my cookbooks, uninspired. I figured I'd do some hunting on the internet later that day for the perfect recipe. I changed the calendar - it was April 1, after all - and was hit by baking inspiration.

I bought this calendar for 80 cents at Michael's in late December. I hadn't found *the perfect* calendar and figured this one, with a delicious recipe every month, would work perfectly in our kitchen. I've drooled over each month's offering, but this was the first one I actually made.

I ended up using strawberries instead of raspberries for the sauce (apparently there was an Easter run on frozen raspberries - who knew?). My frozen strawberries did not have sauce, so I used a bit of water to give them more liquid. And I used orange juice (I had it in the house) and no grated orange peel (for no other reason than I'm lazy). Not surprisingly, the orange flavor was virtually impossible to detect. It didn't matter, though - the cheesecake was delicious, and the sauce was a hit with my husband. I will definitely try to boost the citrus flavor next time I make this, but it was an easy, delectable cheesecake the way it was - and perfect for our Easter dessert.


1 pkg. (9oz) chocolate wafer cookies, crushed
6 T margarine, melted

4 pkg (8oz) cream cheese, softened
1 1/3 cups sugar
4 eggs
2 T orange flavored liqueur or orange juice
1 t grated orange peel

1 pkg (10 oz) frozen red raspberries in syrup, thawed
3 T sugar
1 t cornstarch


Heat oven to 325°F. In medium bowl, combine crust ingredients; mix well. Press in bottom and 2 inches up sides of ungreased 9" springform pan.

In large bowl, beat cream cheese at medium speed until smooth and creamy. Gradually add 1 1/3 cups sugar, beating until smooth. At low speed, add eggs 1 at a time, beating just until blended. Add liqueur and orange peel; beat 2 minutes at medium speed, scraping sides of bowl occasionally. Pour mixture into crust. Bake at 325°F for 55 to 65 minutes or until almost set. Cool 2 1/2 hours or until completely cooled. Refrigerate at least 4 hours or overnight.

In food processor bowl with metal blade or in blender, process raspberries with syrup until smooth. If desired, strain to remove seeds. In small saucepan, combine 3 T sugar and cornstarch; stir in raspberry puree. Cook and stir over medium heat until mixture boils and thickens. Cool to room temperature.

Just before serving, carefully remove sides of pan. Serve cheesecake with sauce.

Source: 2010 Pillsbury Dessert Recipes calendar


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