½ cup dried cranberries
2 cups all-purpose flour
½ cup ground almonds
¼ cup confectioners’ sugar
½ cup cold butter, cubed
¾ cup plus 1½ cups sugar, divided
2 tablespoons cornstarch
¼ cup cranberry juice
2 cups fresh or frozen cranberries
4 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 eggs, lightly beaten
2 cups (16 ounces) sour cream
¼ cup sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup heavy whipping cream
¼ cup ground almonds
¼ cup sliced almonds, toasted
1. In a food processor, finely chop the dried cranberries. Add flour, almonds and confectioners’ sugar; process until blended. Add butter; pulse just until crumbly. Press onto bottom and 1½ inches up sides of a greased 10-inch springform pan. Place on a baking sheet. Bake at 350° for 10 minutes. Cook on a wire rack.
2. In a small saucepan, combine ¾ cup sugar and cornstarch; stir in cranberry juice until smooth. Add cranberries. Cook and stir until thickened and bubbly. Set aside.
3. In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese, vanilla, and remaining sugar until smooth. Add eggs; beat just until combined. Pour half of batter into crust. Carefully spoon ¾ cup berry mixture over batter; top with remaining batter. Return pan to baking sheet.
4. Bake at 350° for 45 minutes. Reduce the heat to 250°. Bake 25-30 minutes longer or until center is almost set. Remove from oven (leave oven on). Let stand for 5 minutes.
5. Combine the sour cream, sugar and vanilla. Spoon around edge of cheesecake; carefully spread over top. Bake 20-30 minutes longer or until set. Cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Run a knife around edge of pan to loosen; cool 1 hour longer. Spread remaining berry mixture over the top. Refrigerate overnight.
6. Remove sides of the pan. In a chilled bowl, beat the cream until stiff peaks form; fold in ground almonds. Pipe around top edge of cheesecake; sprinkle with sliced almonds.