Monday, March 26, 2012

Banana Pudding Cheescake

Normally I stay away from cheesecake. It's usually too grainy for me. But a customer came into the library last week and was showing me this recipe she found in the March 2012 Southern Living and she basically talked me into trying it. It's honestly the best cheesecake I've ever tasted. So creamy, and the crust is amazing. I roasted the bananas so the flavor was intense. I couldn't find my springform pan -- probably still in storage, but it's only necessary if you want it to look nice.

Banana Pudding Cheesecake

Makes: 10 to 12 servings

1½ cups finely crushed vanilla wafers
½ cup chopped pecans
¼ cup butter, melted
17 vanilla wafers
2 large ripe bananas,1 diced & 1 mashed
1 tbs. lemon juice
2 tbs. light brown sugar
2 (8-oz.) packages cream cheese, softened
1 (8-oz.) container Mascarpone cheese
1 cup granulated sugar
3 large eggs
2 tsp. vanilla extract
½ cup coarsely crushed vanilla wafers

Garnishes: sweetened whipped cream, vanilla wafers, sliced bananas tossed in lemon juice

Preheat oven to 350°. Place bananas on a cookie sheet covered with parchment paper. Bake at 350° for 20 minutes. Remove 1 banana, cool completely. Peel and dice. Bake the remaining banana for an additional 15 to 20 minutes. Carefully peel and place in a small bowl, and mash with a fork until smooth. Set both bananas aside.

Stir together first 3 ingredients in a small bowl until well blended. Press mixture onto bottom of a greased and floured 9-inch springform pan. Stand 17 vanilla wafers around edge of pan (rounded sides against pan), pressing gently into crust to secure. Bake 10 minutes at 350°. Cool completely on a wire rack (about 30 minutes).

Combine bananas and lemon juice in a small saucepan. Stir in brown sugar. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring constantly, 1 minute or just until sugar has dissolved.

Beat cream cheese and mascarpone cheese at medium speed with an electric mixer 3 minutes or until smooth. Gradually add granulated sugar, beating until blended. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating just until blended. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating just until yellow disappears after each addition. Beat in vanilla. Gently stir banana mixture into cream cheese mixture. Pour batter into prepared crust.

Bake at 350° for 45 to 55 minutes or until center is almost set. Remove cheesecake from oven; gently run a knife around edge of cheesecake with coarsely crushed wafers. Cool completely on a wire rack (about 1 hour). Cover and chill 8 hours. Enjoy.

Adapted from March 2012 Southern Living.

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