#header-inner {background-position: center !important; width: 100% !important;}

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Southern Banana Pudding Cheesecake

Pin It
How do you make classic banana pudding even better? Throw some cream cheese into the mix! I love banana pudding in its natural state and have even fought with Ryan over the ice cream version, so I knew I'd like this...but I wasn't quite prepared for just how wonderfully this cheesecake turned out.

Of all the things I made for the Cheesecake Extravaganza, this was the one I opted to make full-sized. In my sub-conscious, I must've known this one would be a hit. I slightly adapted the original recipe, opting for two layers of bananas and vanilla wafers in the middle of the cheesecake rather than just one. While it made for a precariously full springform pan, I'd do it the same way next time. The sum of the parts in this cheesecake: vanilla wafer crust, creamy filling with bananas and more wafers, plus a bourbon maple pecan glaze made for what some described that night as a foodgasm. Others felt they had an epiphany upon first bite (coughMIKEcough...the same gentlemen who had the food epiphany with this dessert nearly one year ago!).

This cheesecake was a little difficult to cut into, with the hardened glaze atop it. At first party guests were a little intimidated to take a piece. Once the first "piece" (more like glob) was taken, word spread and people started digging in. This cheesecake didn't set up well, but taste made up for appearance and it just made it more reminiscent of your typical banana pudding!

Just when I thought my love for banana pudding couldn't get any stronger, this cheesecake had to come along...!

Note: I made this a week ahead of time, let it cool, wrapped it well (in plastic wrap and foil), and then froze it, thawing it two days before the party. I then glazed it and returned it to the fridge a few hours before serving.

One Year Ago: Whole Wheat Buttermilk Waffles with Blueberry Syrup

Southern Banana Pudding Cheesecake
slightly adapted from Blisstree

-1 package vanilla wafers, half turned to crumbs (use a food processor or a roller and a ziploc bag) and half broken in large chunks
-1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
-3 small bananas, peeled and sliced
-32 oz. cream cheese (can use 1/3 less fat)
-2 cups sugar
-6 eggs
-1 tbsp vanilla extract
-16 oz. sour cream (can use light)

for the glaze-
-1/4 cup brown sugar
-1/8 cup bourbon
-1/4 cup maple syrup
-1/2 lb. pecans, chopped

1. To make the cheesecake, preheat oven to 375F. Mix vanilla wafer crumbs with melted butter and press into the bottom of a 9-inch springform (that has been sprayed with cooking spray).
2. Wrap the bottom and sides of the springform with aluminum foil to seal out water.
3. In a mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese on low speed until creamy and blended. Add the sugar and continue to beat on low. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating after each addition. Fold in sour cream and vanilla.
4. Pour 1/3 of the filling into the crust. Sprinkle with sliced bananas and chopped vanilla wafers. Pour anther 1/3 of the filling on top. Sprinkle with remaining sliced bananas and chopped vanilla wafers. Pour the remaining filling into the pan (you can also choose to do just 1 layer of bananas and vanilla wafers. Either way, don't overfill your springform pan--leave at least 1/2-inch at the top to avoid overflow!)
5. Bake for 45 minutes in a water bath (place cheesecake pan in another pan and add water so that it comes halfway up the sides of the springform).
6. Leave oven door closed and turn off heat. Allow cheesecake to stand for one hour. Remove from oven and allow to come to room temperature before covering and chilling for at least 8 hours.
7. Before serving, bring all of the glaze ingredients (NOT the pecans) to a simmer in a small saucepan. Whisk until sugar is dissolved and mixture thickens and reduces by half. Spread glaze over cooled cheesecake. Sprinkle on the pecans and press them in lightly. Refrigerate until ready to serve.