Brandi is natural born food lover of anything from gourmet cheeses and wine down to plain baked breads. When not in the kitchen cooking, she loves to be outdoors, especially near the ocean. She puts her focus mainly on healthy organic ea...
The beautiful, deep colors of this stunning dessert will be the talk of your holiday dinner. This homemade cheesecake is topped with a lovely pomegranate syrup and garnished with fresh mint making it almost too pretty to eat.
What can we say — we love desserts! While we do enjoy all of the traditional types, sometimes we like to think outside the box and try out new and creative sweet treats. This cheesecake is one we have enjoyed during the holidays not only because of its beauty but because it is different from all of the others. The ruby hue of the pomegranate along with the freshness of the green mint really make this dessert stand out.
Spring form cake pan, sprayed with cooking spray or greased with butter
3 cups graham crackers
1/4 cup brown sugar (you can use dark or light brown sugar)
1/2 cup melted unsalted butter
For the filling
2-1/2 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, softened several hours at room temperature
3/4 cup white sugar
3 tablespoons flour
1/4 cup milk (skim, almond or soy)
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 tablespoon fresh lemon zest
For the topping
2 cups pomegranate juice
1 cup white sugar
1 large strip fresh orange peel
Fresh pomegranate seeds and fresh mint for garnish
For the topping, add all of the ingredients to a medium sized saucepan except for the pomegranate seeds. Bring the mixture to a boil and then reduce to medium-low heat. Continue to cook until the mixture has reduced and is thick. Once the syrup is done, remove the orange peel and store in the refrigerator until you are ready to use.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a food processor, add the graham crackers, melted butter and the sugar and process until everything is mixed very well. Empty the mixture into the cake pan, and with your hands, press down very firmly on the bottom and up the sides. Place the cake pan in the refrigerator and chill for 30 minutes to 1 hour.
In a large mixing bowl, add the softened cream cheese, sugar and the flour and mix on high until the mixture is smooth and creamy. Add the remaining ingredients for the filling and continue to mix until everything is incorporated.
Remove the cake pan from the refrigerator and add the filling. Bake the cheesecake at 350 degrees F for 20 minutes and then reduce the heat down to 250 degrees F and bake for an additional hour or until the center of the cheesecake is firm. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely. Once cool, place in the refrigerator until you are ready to serve.
After cheesecake has cooled completely, remove the sides of the cake pan and place the cake on a serving platter. Spoon the syrup over the top of the cheesecake. Garnish with the fresh pomegranate seeds and fresh mint leaves. Serve immediately.