This recipe was completely inspired by my long-time friend who has been obsessed by anything orange-cream related lately. When she is fixated on something, it can last for weeks, even months. Last fall, I believe she ate Caramel Apples daily for 6 weeks. I don’t think that’s what the Doctor meant when he prescribed an apple a day! Back to my friend, Jerri, she has been buying the orange cream dessert from our local deli at a price I refuse to pay (it’s essentially jello, mandarin oranges and maybe pudding). I will not pay $4.99/lb. To her great satisfaction, she recently obtained a homemade recipe for this orange cream “salad”. I’ve been hearing about it for weeks. Once it was suggested that I create a cheesecake with these flavors in it, I only took a week to brainstorm and obsess, myself, on my new adventure. Oh how pleased I am, with the results! First thing this morning, I delivered 1/2 of my new masterpiece to Jerri at work, after taking pictures of course! Now, I am excited to share with you, a cheesecake that will satisfy your orange cravings and delivers a presentation that you will be proud to serve at your next summer gathering.
Ingredients for crust
3 cups Vanilla Waffer Cookies crushed (use food processor, though, I still prefer smashing with a rolling-pin in a large ziploc bag)
5 TBS melted butter
3 TBS sugar
Combine all ingredients, incorporating the butter into cookie crumbs evenly. Press into 8″ spring-form pan that has been coated with cooking spray. Be sure to press firmly to the bottom and partially up the sides of pan. Bake in 350 degree oven for 10 minutes. Cool.
Ingredients for filling
3 8oz pkgs Cream Cheese softened at room temperature
1 cup sugar
1 cup (8 oz) sour cream at room temperature
Zest of 1 large fresh orange (about 2 tsp)
Juice of 1 large fresh orange (about 4 TBS)
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
4 eggs (also at room temperature)
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. In a large bowl, blend together cream cheese and sugar until smooth. Add sour cream, zest, orange juice and vanilla. Mix well. Slowly, add 1 egg at a time and blend. Add mixture onto cooled crust. Bake at 325 degrees for 45 minutes or until the center is slightly set. Turn off oven, leaving cheesecake inside to finish cooking and cool for 1 hour, with oven door slightly ajar. Place cooled cheesecake in refrigerator while topping is setting, at least 4 hours, overnight is best.
Ingredients for Topping
2 1/2 cups water
1 small pkg orange jello
1 small pkg cook and serve vanilla pudding
1 large can of mandarin oranges drained and divided
1/2 tub of Cool Whip
In a small sauce pan, bring water to a low boil. Add jello and pudding mixture to boiling water mixing with a wire whisk almost constantly until mixture begins to thicken slightly, about 5-7 minutes. Let mixture cool. Cut 1/2 of the mandarin oranges into small pieces (about 1/4 inch) add to jello/pudding mixture. Cool in refrigerator for at least 4 hours, but overnight is best. Before topping cake, fold in 1/2 tub of Cool whip into jello/pudding mixture. Spread over cooled cheesecake, garnish with remaining oranges of desired.
Note: I did find there was a bit of topping leftover, this can be saved and eaten as Orange Cream Salad!