Friday, June 05, 2020

America's Most Wanted Recipes - Just Desserts: Bananas Foster Cheesecake

I remember getting this cheesecake every time I went to Red Lobster with my family.  It got to the point that I really just wanted the Cheddar Bay biscuits and this.  Did I really have to eat my dinner?  And that's saying something, because seafood and I are old friends.  The cheesecake serving at Red Lobster was much fancier than what's pictured above, complete with actual bananas foster on top and a mess of whipped cream, but I just wanted to get to the good part as fast as possible.

Note: The original recipe included lemon juice in the cake batter, but it made the cheesecake have this overly sour profile.  I think it would be just fine without.

Bananas Foster Cheesecake
Adapted from America's Most Wanted Recipes - Just Desserts

Pecan Crust
¾ cup finely chopped pecans
¾ cup all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
3 tablespoons packed light brown sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
4 tablespoons (½ stick) unsalted butter, melted

Banana Cheesecake
4 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
3 large eggs
4 or 5 ripe bananas, pureed
1 cup sour cream
2 tablespoons dark rum
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
½ teaspoon banana extract
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon kosher salt
1¼ cups granulated sugar
2 tablespoons cornstarch

Sour Cream Topping
1 cup sour cream
¼ cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Caramel-Rum Sauce
1 (17-ounce) jar caramel sauce
¼ cup dark rum

2 ripe bananas, cut into ¼-inch slices

Preheat oven to 350°F.

To make the crust, combine the chopped pecans, flour, both sugars, and the vanilla extract.  Pour in the melted butter and stir to moisten all the ingredients.  Press the mixture evenly across the bottom and halfway up the sides of a 9-inch springform pan.  Fashion a strip of heavy-duty foil 3 inches high and wrap it around the pan.

To make the cheesecake, beat the softened cream cheese with an electric mixer until smooth and creamy.  Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.  Add the remaining ingredients; mix until well combined.  Spoon the mixture into the prepared crust and put the foil-wrapped pan into a larger roasting pan.  Fill the roasting pan with enough hot water to come 1 inch up the sides of the springform pan.

Bake in the center of the oven for 1 hour and 15 minutes to 1 hour and 20 minutes, until the cake is just set in the center.  Remove the cake from the water bath and set it aside - do not turn off the oven.

To make the sour cream topping, whisk together all ingredients, blending well.  Spread the mixture over the top of the cheesecake.  Set the cake directly on the rack in the center of the oven and bake for 10 minutes, or just until set.  Turn off the heat and let the cake cool inside the oven.

Wrap the cooled cheesecake, still in the pan, in plastic and refrigerate for at least 4 hours.

To make the caramel-rum sauce and serve the cake, remove the plastic wrap and foil from around the springform pan and release the ring from the sides.  Transfer the cake to a large dessert platter.

Heat the caramel sauce in a small saucepan over low heat, stirring to loosen it up.  Stir the rum into the caramel and whisk to blend it with the sauce.  Drizzle some of the sauce over the cake, then arrange the sliced bananas over the top.  Serve with extra caramel-rum sauce on the side.

Makes 10 servings

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