Every year I have a little Christmas Eve panic which involves purchasing another jar of cranberry sauce or jelly, despite the fact that I likely already have two jars in the cupboard. I do use it as a year round condiment so its never wasted but I relished (pun intended) trying to come up with a recipe to use it in an entirely different way. This is a cross between an unbaked cheesecake and a layered trifle type dessert. There is no cooking involved (unless you want to make your shortbread from scratch) and it’s a fab dessert to make ahead of time and take out of the fridge to serve with minimum fuss.
I would stick to using a more basic type of cranberry sauce, the very fancy kind with port and other additions are going to add a slightly odd tang to proceedings. A hint of citrus such as lemon or orange would however be welcome.
This is a great way to use up Christmas shortbreads but nearly any other biscuit would work for the base and the garnish. I am a massive fan of a gingernut. I would reduce or omit the butter for the base if using a cream filled biscuit.
For an extra texture you could include a layer of a complementary flavoured jelly – strawberry, orange or lemon perhaps. Just make sure it is fully set before adding the cheesecake layer.
For a lighter dessert, use reduced fat cream cheese but expect the finished dessert to be a little looser.
Ensure all the ingredients are room temperature before starting to mix.
100g Shortbread or other biscuit
100g White Chocolate, melted and cooled
300g Cream Cheese
225g Cranberry Sauce
15g Icing Sugar, sieved
½ Lemon, juiced and zested
Extra Biscuits for garnish
Put 100g Shortbread in a sandwich bag and smash with a rolling pin until crumb-like. Alternatively, use a food processor although this does only take seconds.
Mix the 25g Butter which has been melted into the shortbread crumbs.
Divide the biscuit crumbs between 4 serving glasses. I used martini glasses but any glass tumbler or drinking glass would work too.
Press the biscuit base down with your fingers – it doesn’t need to be terribly solid.
Combine the melted 100g White Chocolate, 300g Cream Cheese and 175g Cranberry Sauce until well combined.
Divide the cream cheese mixture between the 4 glasses, spreading the mix to the sides of the glass.
Take 50g Cranberry Sauce and warm ever so slightly with 15g Icing Sugar and juice of ½ a Lemon. I gave mine 10 seconds in the microwave just to loosen it up a little.
Top each of the desserts with a quarter of the sweetened sauce and refrigerate – they only need 15 minutes or they can be left covered for a day or two.
Garnish with any Extra Biscuits and the zest of ½ a Lemon before serving.