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BANANA CHEESECAKE

 

Boy Eats World!
by David Lawrence

I run the risk of offending true cheesecake purists here, but I simply cannot resist. The best I can hope for is to bring you over to my side, the side of creamy banana-spiked cheesecake on top of a crumbly graham cracker crust. Trust me on this one.
Serves 8

FOR THE CRUST
• 2 cups graham cracker crumbs (1 package)
• 2 tablespoons sugar
• 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
• Nonstick cooking spray

FOR THE FILLING
• 1 pound cream cheese, room temperature
• 3/4 cup sugar
• 4 large eggs
• 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
• 2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
• 1 cup sour cream
• 1 cup ripe bananas, mashed (about 3 medium bananas)


Directions
Preheat the oven to 350°F.

Place a baking pan in the lower half of the oven and fill it with about 1 inch boiling water to create a water bath.

To make the crust, in a medium bowl, combine the graham cracker crumbs, sugar, and butter. Mix with a fork until moistened and well combined. Lightly coat the bottom of a 9-inch springform pan with nonstick cooking spray. Press the crumbs evenly over the bottom and up the side of the pan. Place in refrigerator for 10 minutes, while you get on with the filling.

To make the filling, in the bowl of a freestanding mixer fitted with a paddle attachment or with a handheld electric mixer on medium speed, cream together the cream cheese and sugar until smooth. Beat in the eggs one at a time until incorporated. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula and add the vanilla and lemon juice. Fold in the sour cream and mashed bananas. Pour the filling into the crust.

Bake the cheesecake in the middle of the oven, on the rack directly above the steaming water bath, until the top is light brown and the center has a slight jiggle to it, about 1 hour. Turn off the oven and cool the cheesecake in the oven to room temperature. Chill in the refrigerator for at least 3 hours before serving.

 

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