This is one of our all-time family favorites, and I'm pretty sure you'll love it, too. It's easy, it can be made a day ahead and it's the most delicious way ever to serve cranberries. And it's sweet, but not too sweet.
I found this recipe years ago in a Pillsbury cookbooks. I've adapted it for a larger crowd, but it's really one of our family favorites. It's best served chilled, so make it the day before Thanksgiving and it will be ready to go!
Original Recipe From: Pillsbury Cookbooks , #47, 'Come for Dinner', page 19
1 1/4 c. flour
1/3 c. sugar
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1/2 c. butter or margarine
1/3 c. walnuts, chopped
32 oz. canned whole berry cranberries (that's 2 cans)
4 Tbs. grated orange peel
2 8-oz. pkg. cream cheese, softened
2/3 c. sugar
2 tsps. vanilla
Heat oven to 350º. Combine flour, 1/3. c. sugar, soda and butter in food processor. Process until it resembles fine crumbs, add walnuts. Process enough to mix. Press in the bottom of a 13 x 9" cake pan. Set aside.
(If you do not have a food processor, just use a pastry cutter to mix all the ingredients except the walnuts. Make sure the walnuts are finely chopped, and add them in. Toss lightly with a couple of forks, and then press into the bottom of the cake pan)
In a small bowl, combine cranberries and orange peel. Spread over crumb mixture.
Beat cream cheese, 2/3 c. sugar and vanilla until smooth. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until well combined. Gently pour over cranberry mixture. Bake for 60 minutes or until set and light golden brown on top. Cool and refrigerate several hours before serving.