This cheesecake is inspired by classic Southern hummingbird cake. It's a great recipe that you can prepare ahead of time, so there can be one less thing to worry about when cooking an extravagant dinner. It's also simple enough to make for an any-day-of-the-week occasion.
Technique tip: Baking the cheesecake in a water bath reduces the chances of overcooking or the cake cracking.
- 4 ounces (about 1 cup) pecans, toasted
- 4 ounces (about 1½ cups) graham cracker crumbs
- 3 ounces (6 tablespoons) butter
- 1½ ounces (about 3 tablespoons) brown sugar
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 3 ounces (about 1/3 cup) sour cream
- One 8-ounce can crushed pineapple, drained
- 5 ounces (after peeled) over ripe banana
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ginger
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 5 eggs
For the crust:
1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Lightly spray a 9-inch cake pan with nonstick cooking spray, and line with a circle of parchment paper.
2. Heat butter in a small pot over medium heat until it begins to brown. Remove from heat let cool.
3. Place toasted pecans in food processor, and grind to small pieces, add graham crumbs, sugar and salt, and pulse to combine. Add browned butter and mix to combine.
4. Using the bottom of a metal measuring cup, evenly press the crumb mixture into the bottom of the prepared pan.
5. Bake the crust for 10 minutes. Remove from oven and set aside to cool.
For the cheesecake filling:
1. Combine cream cheese, salt and granulated sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment and beat until smooth, scraping down the bowl often throughout the entire process.
2. Mash bananas slightly and add to the bowl along with the drained pineapple, spices, vanilla and sour cream to the cream cheese, and mix on the lowest speed until smooth. Add eggs, one at a time, scraping well with each addition, until all are combined.
3. Pour mixture into prepared cake pan. Place the pan in a water bath (the water should come up as high up the sides as possible without getting in the cake pan).
4. Cover the cake pan with foil and bake. Check after 30 minutes, and then about every 5-10 minutes after. The cheesecake is done when the center is nearly completely set and barely moves when gently shaken. It will continue to bake when removed from the oven and set completely.
5. Remove from the oven, uncover and allow to come to room temperature while in the water bath.
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