Last Updated on April 17, 2022 by Griselda M.
We have the ultimate tutorial for making cranberry sauce for cheesecake. We’ll also look at how to adjust the consistency, texture, and flavor!
Cranberry sauce with cream cheese cheesecakes is one of our favorite flavor combinations. It creates a delicious balance of tartness and sweetness. Eager to learn exactly how to make the ultimate cranberry sauce for cheesecake? Then read on!
What Is Cranberry Sauce For Cheesecake?
This delicious sauce is made from a combination of cranberries, sugar, and water. Sometimes, it has additional ingredients that work as either flavorings or thickeners.
What makes today’s recipes unique is that they are specifically intended to be used for cheesecakes. And believe us, there are very few things that are as good as a cranberry topped cheesecake!
More often than not, the toppings for cheesecakes that recipes recommend aren’t balanced in flavor, don’t compliment the flavor of the cheesecake, and have a strange unappealing texture. So, this guide will help you easily choose the best flavor and texture for your specific recipe.
How To Make Cranberry Sauce?
Now, first things first, you don’t need a recipe to make a cranberry sauce for cheesecake. You simply need to know how to adapt the flavor and consistency.
In terms of ingredients, you will need some cranberries, sugar, water, and an optional flavoring ingredient like vanilla extract or lemon juice.
To ensure that your cheesecake topping is plentiful, we would recommend using about 2 cups of cranberries (in whichever form you choose). It should give you a generous amount of sauce without wasting ingredients.
Then, simply combine the ingredients inside a saucepan and cook them over medium-low heat. The mixture should never boil – only simmer. You can continue cooking the mixture until you have reached the desired consistency. Easy, right?
1. Cranberry sauce from frozen cranberries
In many parts of the world, frozen cranberries are often the most accessible. For example, on a trip to Africa, we realized that they don’t have access to fresh cranberries at all! But, they can get imported frozen and dried cranberries.
So, a frozen cranberry sauce is often the easiest to make. You can always keep cranberries on hand and prevent them from prematurely expiring.
Frozen cranberries are generally quicker because they soften easily, and they are more affordable as compared to fresh. The only downside is that their flavor might not be as authentic as fresh cranberries.
Tips when using frozen
- First, always make sure that the cranberries are used frozen. This will help prevent them from going mushy before they are cooked. When they are cooked from frozen, the excess liquid (from melted ice crystals) evaporates immediately.
- These cranberries will take less time to soften as compared to fresh or dried berries. They already have softened during the freezing process.
- Always make sure that the frozen berries you use don’t have any acidic (off or rancid) flavors. Often people forget how old frozen produce is because they think it will last forever, However, frozen fresh berries can still expire in the freezer.
2. Cranberry sauce for cheesecake from fresh cranberries
So, we always prefer using fresh berries when making berry sauces, fillings, or toppings. Fresh cranberries will have the most authentic flavor, texture, and aroma. Unfortunately, they are sometimes hard to come by, cost a little bit more than other forms, and have to be as fresh as possible.
Tips when using fresh berries
- Fresh cranberries will take longer to soften as they have a firmer texture.
- They also often require more sugar to sweeten because they have a slightly tart flavor to them. This flavor softens as the cranberries are processed (for example when being frozen).
3. Cranberry sauce made using canned cranberries
There are two types of canned cranberry products you can find. The first is jellied cranberry sauce in a can. This product is completely smooth and has a thick jelly texture. You can adjust the consistency of the sauce, but it will always be completely smooth.
Ocean Spray Cranberry Sauce Jellied, 14-Ounce Bottles (Pack of 24)
The second product, and the one we like to use, is whole canned cranberries. These cans contain whole preserved cranberries that sit in sugar syrup. They are textured and you can still adjust the consistency.
Gefen Whole Berry Cranberry Sauce, 16oz (2 Pack)
How To Adjust The Consistency Of A Cranberry Sauce For A Cheesecake?
To adjust the consistency of a cranberry sauce for cheesecake is incredibly easy! To make the sauce thinner, you can add more water or simple syrup. Water works best as it will not make the sauce overly sweet. It is easier to add sweetness than to take it away.
To thicken your sauce, you can add some corn starch and bring it to a boil. This boiling (for only a minute) will help remove the starchy flavor and texture and simply thicken the mixture.
Alternatively, you can thicken the sauce by continuing to cook it over low heat. This will evaporate the moisture and make it stickier.
How To Adjust The Texture?
To adjust the texture of the sauce, you can use different textures of berries. Naturally, whole-cooked berries will give you a very chunky sauce. The finer you chop them, the finer the texture will be. And, if you blend the entire sauce until it becomes smooth, you will have a texture-free sauce.
You can even combine a combination of textures. For example, make a fine-textured sauce and cook it soft. Then, add some whole cranberries at the end of the cooking time and only cook them for 5 minutes.
How To Alter The Flavor Of Cranberry Sauce For Cheesecake?
You can add more sweetness to your sauce by adding more sugar – easy enough. But, removing sweetness is more difficult. The best technique to use is to add more water (which dilutes the sugar) or lemon juice (which balances it out).
Then, you can add extracts or essences to add additional flavors to the sauce. Other fruity flavors work well, especially berry or tropical ones like pineapple or strawberry.
You can even add flavors like rum, vodka, caramel, or mint.
Cranberry Sauce For Cheesecake – Conclusion
As you can see, making a cranberry sauce for cheesecake is extremely quick and easy. You can adjust the flavor, consistency, and texture. If you found this article useful, please share it with your fellow cheesecake lovers and let us know in the comments below!
Read more about 3 Incredible Cheesecake Ice Cream Brands – Available Online.
How to use canned cranberry sauce for cheesecake?
To use canned cranberries for a sauce, first, decide what texture you want the sauce to be. Then, choose either a cranberry jelly (smooth) or whole preserved cranberries in a sugar syrup. Then, simply add them to a pot, heat them, and adjust the consistency and flavor according to our instructions.
How to make cranberry sauce for cheesecake?
All you need for a cranberry sauce for cheesecake is cranberries, sugar, and water. You can also add some flavoring like lemon juice or vanilla extract. Then, simple combine and heat these ingredients in a pot. Allow the mixture to cook until you have reached the desired consistency. Adjust any component using our in-depth guide.
Lindy Van Schalkwyk is a culinary specialist with a background in Advanced Cooking, Advanced Pâtisserie, Media Communications and Nutrition. She has gained invaluable experience in the culinary industry having worked in some of the top restaurants in Africa in 2016 and 2017. Her expertise in nutrition has enabled her to develop recipes for special dietary needs. In 2018, Lindy began working in the Food Media industry, focusing on recipe development, recipe writing, food writing and food styling.