Friday, March 4, 2011

Baker's Delight: Banana Cheesecake

On Valentine's Day Jeremy and I went to a favorite restaurant. For dessert I decided to try Fresh Banana Cheesecake (the favored choice of the restaurant owner). I like bananas, I like banana bread, I like banana muffins, but somehow anything else banana never really appeals to me. However, that first bite of banana cheesecake was unbelievably delicious. It tasted somewhat like banana cream pie (which I guess I also like), but even better.

Since then I've been dreaming about making it at home. Last week I decided to give it a try. I'd done recipe research and concocted my own. And to make it even more challenging, I decided to try baking it in my crockpot (why not try two variables in my first go at it?!). It turned out quite well (thought admittedly not quite as memorable as the piece I'd eaten). And until I try another piece someday, this is the best it will get.

The standard cheesecake crust is typically crushed cookies of some sort. Being gluten-free around here, I decided instead to try a shredded coconut crust. I mixed it with melted butter and cinnamon. However, feel free to use your crust of choice.

Also, I used a 1 1/2 quart corning ware dish to make my cheesecake, since I was using the crockpot. To bake in the oven in a springform pan, you will likely need to double the ingredients.



BANANA CHEESECAKE
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Crust:
1 1/2 c. shredded coconut
2-3 Tbsp melted butter
3/4 tsp cinnamon

Filling:
1 1/2 blocks of full-fat cream cheese (room temperature)
1/3 c. sugar
1 1/2 tsp lemon juice
2 eggs
1/2 c. plain yogurt
2 just ripe bananas, mashed

Press your desired crust onto the bottom and slightly up the sides of a lightly greased 1 1/2 quart pyrex or corning ware dish.

In a bowl beat together the cream cheese, sugar, and lemon juice. Add the eggs one at a time, beating thoroughly between each. Stir in the plain yogurt and the mashed banana. Pour the mixture into the prepared pan.

Add 1 cup of water to the bottom of your crockpot (I used 6 quart). Lower the dish inside. Cover and cook on high for 2-3 hours. The cheesecake is done when the edges are no longer shiny and have set. (It took close to 3 hrs for mine.) Let the cheesecake sit in the cooling crockpot for about an hour. Chill for 2 hours before serving.

Garnish with freshly whipped cream, chopped pecans, chocolate drizzle. Or just eat plain for breakfast. :)