Yogurt Cheesecake with Orange Shortbread Crust and Chambord Honey Drizzle

That might be the longest recipe title ever, but at least you can see IMMEDIATELY that this cheesecake is special. Even special enough to grace your Mothers Day table!

Cheesecake is one of those foods that people tend to get a little fussy over. I can sense the frantic thoughts spinning in your heads… That’s not a true New York Cheesecake! Is it that Philadelphia-style cheesecake? Or the sour cream variety? Or Italian ricotta and mascarpone cheesecake? And what is up with that crust? I see no graham crackers…

Take a deep breath, and let me explain.

The fact is, most countries worldwide have their own rendition of cheesecake (even Southeast Asia) and many have been making them for literally thousands of years. There are hundreds of variations,  so there is no right or wrong way to make cheesecake–it’s your preference. And if you haven’t tasted but one or two varieties…. how would you know?

So let your guard down and allow me to give you my sales pitch on this particular cheesecake. *wink*

Historically the Greeks invented cheesecake, that is until the Romans took over and claimed it as their own, so it would only make sense to add Greek yogurt, right? RIGHT? The ancient Greeks even published a book about their two preferred styles of cheesecake.

Yogurt Cheesecake with Orange Shortbread Crust and Chambord Honey Drizzle is a concept I’ve been playing around with, a find quite delightful.  It’s rich, but not dense, with a slightly airy quality. It has a perky tang from the cream cheese, yogurt and orange juice and it isn’t overly sweet.

I adjusted the crust to be more of a “special feature” than the traditional American graham cracker crust. I used my favorite shortbread recipe and added orange zest to mimic the flavor and aroma of the cheese filling. Did it work? Let me just say, I will probably never make a graham cracker crust for cheesecake again.

Finally to enhance this cake even further, I added a drizzle of Chambord Raspberry Liqueur and honey, then topped it with some fresh raspberries. It’s understated, elegant, comforting and bright. What more could you ask of a dessert that contains no chocolate?

This is just the sort of treat I would make MY mom on Mothers Day, if I lived a little closer. So I wanted to share it with you in time for your Mothers Day brunch or dinner. Cheesecake makes a wonderful party dessert because it’s lovely enough to double as a centerpiece and rich enough to cut into small pieces. It’s also a great make-ahead!

Cook’s Notes:

Contrary to modern opinion, cheesecakes are not hard to make. They just take a little time in the oven, and you need to prepare your pan properly before you start. Don’t be afraid to give this a try!

The water bath:  Most bakers agree, using a water bath is an extremely important step in avoiding cracks on the top of your cheesecake–but it’s not fool-proof. Cracks can form when the cheesecake rises or cools too quickly. Some cheesecakes are simply destined to have a crack, no matter what you do! It doesn’t effect the flavor or texture, only the appearance. So it’s a good idea to have raspberries of some other garnish ready, if needed. To prepare a water bath, place a roasting pan containing 1-2 inches of hot tap water  in the oven while it’s preheating. Carefully wrap the exterior of your spring-form pan with foil. Make sure it comes all the way up the sides. If you don’t have a roasting pan, or are afraid of water leakage,  you may place bread pans filled with hot water on three sides of the spring-form pan while it bakes. The cheesecake isn’t insulated by the hot water, but it is still providing the steaming effect of a water bath.

Another step you may take to avoid cracks is to allow your cheesecake to cool slowly in the oven for 1 -2 hours after the required baking time. The slower it cools the better.

Following these two steps will provide a crack-free cheesecake over 90% of the time. Those are pretty good odds as far as cheesecakes go!

To Prepare:

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Line the bottom of a 9-10 inch spring-form pan with parchment paper and attach the ring over the rim. Trim the excess paper. Grease the sides of the pan and wrap the exterior with foil.

Using an electric mixer beat together the butter and sugar until smooth and fluffy. Add the salt, flour and orange zest; beat until combined. Press the dough into the bottom and half way up the sides of the pan. Bake for 5 minutes, then cool.

Once the crust comes out of the oven, prepare a water bath by placing a roasting pan containing 1-2 inches of hot tap water  in the oven while it’s preheating.

Meanwhile, beat the cream cheese and sugar until fluffy and smooth. Scrape the bowl and beat again. Add the eggs, one at a time, and then the yogurt and remaining ingredients. Scrape the bowl again then beat until smooth.

Pour the filling into the shortbread crust and carefully place the pan down into the water bath. Bake for 15 minutes, then reduce the temperature to 275 degrees F and bake for 1 hour.

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Yield: 12 slices

Prep Time: 35 minutes

Cook Time: 75 minutes

Yogurt Cheesecake with Orange Shortbread Crust and Chambord Honey Drizzle

Ingredients:

For the Crust:
1 stick unsalted butter, softened (½ cup)
1/3 cup sugar
½ tsp. salt
1 cup + 2 Tb. all-purpose flour
Zest of 1 orange

For the Filling:
3- 8 oz. packages of cream cheese
1 1/8 cup sugar
5 large eggs
1 ½ cups plain Greek yogurt
Juice of 1 orange (about ¼ cup)
2 tsp. vanilla extract
3 Tb. flour
Pinch of salt

For the Drizzle:
2/3 cup honey
2 Tb. Chambord (raspberry liqueur)
3 cups fresh raspberries

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Line the bottom of a 9-10 inch spring-form pan with parchment paper and attach the ring over the rim. Trim the excess paper. Grease the sides of the pan and wrap the exterior with foil.

Using an electric mixer beat together the butter and sugar until smooth and fluffy. Add the salt, flour and orange zest; beat until combined. Press the dough into the bottom and half way up the sides of the pan. Bake for 5 minutes, then cool.

Once the crust comes out of the oven, prepare a water bath by placing a roasting pan containing 1-2 inches of hot tap water in the oven while it's preheating.

Meanwhile, beat the cream cheese and sugar until fluffy and smooth. Scrape the bowl and beat again. Add the eggs, one at a time, and then the yogurt and remaining ingredients. Scrape the bowl again then beat until smooth.

Pour the filling into the shortbread crust and carefully place the pan down into the water bath. Bake for 15 minutes, then reduce the temperature to 275 degrees F and bake for 1 more hour.

Once the timer goes off, turn off the heat, but leave the cheesecake in the oven for 1-2 hours to cool. Carefully remove it from the oven and set on the counter to cool all the way before placing it in the fridge. Then refrigerate until chilled through.

Whisk the Chambord and honey together. Use as is, or simmer on the stove to render out the alcohol. Cool before using. *I used mine uncooked—the kids aren’t getting enough to make a difference!

To serve: Garnish with fresh raspberries and drizzle with Chambord Honey. You can even mix a little of the Chambord Honey in with the raspberries to make them glossy if you want to pile them on top of the cheesecake.

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74 Responses to “Yogurt Cheesecake with Orange Shortbread Crust and Chambord Honey Drizzle”

  1. #
    51
    Roxana GreenGirl — May 10, 2011 @ 9:56 pm

    I love the idea of greek yogurt in cheesecake. Looks amazing. Thanks for sharing Sommer.

  2. #
    52
    Amanda — May 11, 2011 @ 6:53 am

    WOW!! That looks totally amazing

  3. #
    53
    Magic of Spice — May 12, 2011 @ 8:33 am

    This cheesecake is absolutely stunning Sommer…I love the idea of this shortbread crust, wonderful!

  4. #
    54
    Priya Sreeram — May 12, 2011 @ 8:51 am

    absolutely delightful n stunning !

  5. #
    55
    Cristina, from Buenos Aires to Paris — May 16, 2011 @ 7:35 am

    Wow!! It looks amazing!! So healthy!! I love Greek yougurt!

  6. #
    56
    shabunam — May 16, 2011 @ 12:23 pm

    OH MY GOD!!!!!! that cheesecake looks absolutely delicious , I really want some right now , the pics are just amazing *slurp* .

  7. #
    57
    Laura — May 21, 2011 @ 8:44 pm

    This is over the top, Sommer! Next time I do cheesecake, I know where I will be getting the recipe – xo!

  8. #
    58
    caroL — July 10, 2011 @ 8:59 pm

    Hi Sommer,

    So I was wondering.. I only have an 8″ baking pan.. Should I make the ingredients lesser.
    Like the cream cheese to 3-6oz OR eggs to 3large eggs OR 1 1/2 cup of sugar?
    Help… =(

    • Sommer — July 10th, 2011 @ 9:33 pm

      Carol, you know what I’d do? I’d make the recipe as is, and fill the 8 inch pan about 3/4 of an inch from the top. Then I’d pour the rest of the filling into a glass dish and bake it separately. I little bonus “sampling” cheesecake is never a bad thing. :)

      • caroL — July 10th, 2011 @ 11:31 pm

        wow I would have never thought of that.. hmmm good idea, would love to sample it b4 serving.. thanks a lot.. oh ya, if I were to mix in a raspberry jam in the cheese filling, would it be too sweet?
        I thought of swirling in the jam but not mixing properly..

        • Sommer — July 11th, 2011 @ 6:50 am

          I bet it would be good, but would probably take a little longer in the oven. You could reduce the sugar a bit if your worried about it being too sweet.

          • caroL — July 11th, 2011 @ 8:35 am

            hmm okay then.. gonna try next week.. thanks a lot ya..

  9. #
    59
    Angela FRS — August 12, 2011 @ 8:57 am

    I totally buy the logic on the Greek yogurt–this looks amazing. Must try.

  10. #
    60
    SMITH BITES — August 12, 2011 @ 10:40 am

    seriously . . . i want to know when you’re moving next door . . . dear heavens above . . .

  11. #
    61
    DessertForTwo — August 13, 2011 @ 10:30 am

    GORGEOUS! :)

  12. #
    62
    Julia — October 19, 2011 @ 3:35 pm

    Wow, that looks incredibly creamy and just delightful! Ran across it on tastespotting.

  13. #
    63
    Val — May 14, 2012 @ 12:26 pm

    Love the use of yogurt here. Fresh, healthy and decadent all at the same time. We just HAD to include it in our round-up of Mother’s Day recipes:

    http://www.tipsonhealthyliving.com/diet-and-fitness/show-your-love-with-healthy-mothers-day-recipes

  14. #
    64
    Sophia — July 13, 2013 @ 9:05 pm

    This looks amazing. Can you make a gluten free version of this recipe?

  15. #
    65
    Kenneth Kapasi — November 13, 2013 @ 5:46 pm

    This is a super recipe thanks for sharing it.

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