Chef Folse's Mandarin Orange Cheesecake

Prep Time: 1 and 1/2 Hours
Yields: 8-10 Servings

If you are old enough to have experienced the dreamsicle or young enough to have enjoyed an orange push-up, you will love the flavor of this cheesecake. The vivid orange color of the cake makes for an exciting presentation.

Ingredients for Crust:

1and 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
4 tbsps melted butter
1/4 cup sugar

Combine graham cracker crumbs and sugar. Drizzle melted butter into mixture and blend well. Using your fingertips, press graham cracker mixture into a 10-inch round springform pan. Refrigerate 15 minutes or until crust is firm.

Ingredients for Cheesecake:

1 (11 oz.) can chopped mandarins with juice
1and1/2 pounds cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
4 medium eggs
1 cup sugar
1/4 tsp orange "hard-candy" flavoring
OR orange or mandarin flavoring
1/4 tsp orange no. 6 food coloring
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup chopped pecans


Preheat oven to 300 degrees F. In a large mixing bowl, blend cream cheese and heavy whipping cream with a hand mixer until smooth. Add eggs, one at a time, whisking completely between each addition. Slowly whisk in sugar. Fold in mandarins and juice, orange flavoring, vanilla and food coloring, blending well after each addition. Stir in chopped pecans. Pour batter into refrigerated crust. Rotate pan until mixture flattens. Bake 1 hour or until firm to touch. NOTE: Cake may be topped with a sour cream icing made by combining 1 pound sour cream, 4 tablespoons sugar and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla. Blend together until creamy. Add to top of slightly-cooled cheesecake and place in a 400 degrees F oven for 5 minutes.