In the Kitchen: Orange Cheesecake

This recipe, featuring Bella Viva Orchards’ Certified Organic Orange Chips and Orange Powder, will make you a superstar at your next special occasion gathering. The crust and cheesecake and the Orange Chip topping can be made a day ahead and kept separated until the day of service.

Yields: 12 servings

Prep time: 30 minutes
Cook time: 55 minutes
Inactive time: at least 3 hours
Total Time: at least 4 hours 25 minutes, including cooling times

Ingredients:

For the topping:
24 Bella Viva Orchards Certified Organic Orange Chips
1 cup water
1/2 cup granulated sugar
¼ cup fresh orange juice

For the crust:

1 ¼ cups graham cracker crumbs
¼ cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup unsalted butter, melted

For the filling:

4 large eggs, room temperature
¼ cup Bella Viva Orchards Orange Powder
2 teaspoons orange extract
3 8-ounce packages best quality cream cheese, room temperature
¾ cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons flour
½ cup sour cream

Special equipment:

10-inch springform pan
Electric mixer

Instructions:

Rehydrate the Orange Powder: In a large bowl, beat the eggs then add the Orange Powder and orange extract. Blend until smooth, then set aside.

Prepare the Topping: In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, add the sugar, water and orange juice, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Add the Orange Chips and bring to a simmer. Simmer the mixture about 3 minutes, swirling the pan and gently turn the Oranges to ensure all fruit is hydrated. Remove from heat and set aside to reach room temperature. Once cooled, gently remove rehydrated Oranges, place in a sealed container and refrigerate. Boil the reserved liquid until you have about 1/3 cup syrup. Set aside to cool, then place in a sealed container and refrigerate.

Prepare the graham cracker crust: Preheat oven to 300 degrees F. Spray the springform pan with nonstick cooking spray. Combine graham cracker crumbs, sugar and melted butter in a medium bowl, then press in an even layer in the bottom of the pan. Place the pan on a baking sheet and set aside.

Prepare the filling: In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream the softened cream cheese and granulated sugar until light and fluffy. Add Orange Powder and egg mixture and beat until smooth. Add flour and blend, then add the sour cream and rehydrated Orange Powder mixture, beating just until all ingredients are blended. Pour filling over graham cracker crust.

Bake about 55 minutes, until center is just slightly jiggly. Remove from oven and slide a thin-bladed knife around edges to separate cheesecake from pan. Cool on a wire rack at room temperature. Once cooled, cover the pan and refrigerate until cold, a minimum of 3 hours.

Remove rim from springform pan. Gently arrange rehydrated Orange Chips over cheesecake, then drizzle with cooled syrup. When serving, use a serrated knife to slice the cheesecake, submerging blade in hot water, then wiping on a clean cloth after each slice to keep the blade clean.

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