Have I mentioned that I love to bake cheesecakes? No? Well, okay I'll admit I've only made I think 4 cheesecakes in my entire life, and 2 of them were the same recipe (which was this FABULOUS lemon cheesecake on my blog- it is to die for!)
But, since cheesecake is one of my favorite desserts evah, I really think I've found my niche in baking. I mean who doesn't love to make something from scratch into a beautiful, aril-speckled pomegranate cheesecake like below?
And then you get to eat it for like 4 days in a row because only your husband and you live at home and even though you brought it to Sunday dinner you still somehow left with half of a cheesecake leftover. What's a girl to do??
This was a fab recipe that I made over the holidays- New Year's Eve to be exact- but really would be perfect at this time of year still since pomegranates are at their peak (I think? Don't quote me on that- at least I'm still seeing them in stores and all over grocery ads these days).
Boy oh boy do I love cheesecake! I have another recipe that I made last November that I will post soon... even though it's a recipe for a pumpkin cheesecake (with white chocolate and a gingersnap-pecan crust and a caramel drizzle-= drool) I just simply do not care and think that pumpkin tastes just as good in January as it does in November.
Anyway without further adieu...
adapted from Mel's Kitchen Cafe
*Plan ahead as the cheesecake needs to be refrigerated at least for 4 hours or overnight.
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
4 8-oz. packages reduced-fat cream cheese, softened
1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
1/4 cup all purpose flour
1 tablespoon vanilla
1/2 cup reduced fat sour cream
1 teaspoon finely shredded lemon peel
3/4 cup pomegranate seeds
1 1/2 cups reduced fat sour cream
1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1-16-ounce bottle pomegranate juice (usually found in the refrigerated section of juices)
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
1/2 cup pomegranate seeds (tutorial on de-seeding here)
For the crust: preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a mixing bowl beat butter on medium high speed for 30 seconds. Add brown sugar. Beat until combined. Add egg; beat well. Beat in flour until combined. Divide dough in half. Cover one portion and set it aside.
Remove the sides from a 10-inch springform pan and set aside. Spread first portion of dough on just the bottom of ungreased springform pan base, spreading dough to edges. Place on baking sheet. Bake for 10 minutes. Cool completely. When cool, attach sides of pan. Press chilled dough onto the sides of the sprinform pan to a height of 1-3/4 inches, using a thin metal spatula, like an offset spatula, to spread dough.
For the filling: reduce oven temperature to 325 degrees. In an extra-large mixing bowl beat cream cheese and sugar until fluffy. Beat in the flour on low speed until smooth. Add eggs and vanilla all at once, beating on low speed just until combined. Mix in sour cream and lemon peel. Then, using a wooden spoon or a spatula, gently fold in pomegranate seeds (if you use the electric mixer for this part, the seeds will burst and stain the filling with the juice – and it won’t look as pretty).
Pour filling into crust-lined pan. Place on baking sheet. Bake for 65 minutes or until edges are puffed and center jiggles slightly when gently shaken. Remove from oven. (It doesn’t matter if the cheesecake cracks on top since it will have a sour cream topping.)
For the topping: stir together sour cream, sugar, and vanilla. Spread sour cream mixture over top of baked cheesecake, spreading gently to the edges. Return to oven; bake for 10 minutes. Remove from oven. Cool on wire rack for 15 minutes. Loosen crust from sides of pan. Cool for 30 minutes more. Remove sides of pan; cool completely. Cover; chill 4 hours or overnight.
For pomegranate glaze: in a medium saucepan bring pomegranate juice to boiling; reduce heat and boil gently, uncovered, until reduced to 1 cup (12 to 15 minutes). In a separate bowl, stir together brown sugar and cornstarch. Add to juice. Cook and stir until thickened and bubbly. Cook and stir 2 minutes more. Transfer to a medium bowl; cover surface with clear plastic wrap. Cool to room temperature. Store, covered, in refrigerator until serving time.
When ready to serve, remove cheesecake and pomegranate glaze from refrigerator 15 minutes before serving. Spoon some sauce over top of cheesecake; pile remaining pomegranate seeds in center of cheesecake. To serve, slice cheesecake. Pass remaining sauce. Makes 16 servings.