For the Cranberry Topping
Combine cranberries and sugar in processor. Using on/off turns, coarsely chop cranberries.
Transfer mixture to heavy medium saucepan. Add 1 cup water and orange peel and bring to boil, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat; simmer until mixture is reduced to 2 1/3 cups, stirring occasionally, about 10 minutes.
Cool to room temperature.
Cover; chill overnight or up to 2 days (mixture will thicken).
For the Gingersnap Cookie Crust (Or use graham crackers in lieu of cookies)
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Process cookies in a food processor or blender to yield 1 1/4 cups crumbs.
In a medium bowl, stir together cookie or graham cracker crumbs, sugar, melted butter, and chopped cranberries until crumbs are moist. Press mixture into bottom of a springform pan. Bake in preheated oven 10 minutes; set aside to cool.
For the Cheesecake
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
In large bowl of an electric mixer, blend cream cheese, sugar, and flour at medium speed until smooth.
Add eggs, milk, and vanilla. Beat until well combined, but do not overmix. Pour mixture into prepared springform pan.
Bake in preheated oven 30 minutes. Reduce temperature to 300 degrees and bake 25 to 35 additional minutes until center of cheesecake is set, but still soft.
Turn off oven, open oven door, and cool cheesecake in oven about 30 minutes. Remove cheesecake from oven, cool 1 hour on a wire rack, and run a sharp knife around edge of cheesecake. Release outer band of springform pan and remove.
Transfer cheesecake to a serving plate. Cover loosely and refrigerate several hours or overnight. With a metal spatula, gently loosen and transfer chilled cheesecake from bottom of springform pan directly onto serving plate, if desired.
Dollop cooled cranberry topping over top of cake and smooth to edges. Garnish with whole fresh or candied cranberries.