Happy Easter y’all! Summer’s coming and this is generally the last of my spring flings before I turn the tables to leaning out. It is a delicious one and the perfect dessert to wow your family. The banana pudding flavor lightens up the cheesecake (sort of) making it the centerpiece of your Easter table.
The claim to fame for this recipe goes to Southern Living March 2012. I made a few changes to make it gluten free and a tad healthier.
Recipe & Ingredients
1 1/2 cups finely crushed gluten free vanilla wafers*
1/2 cup chopped pecan
1/4 cup butter, melted
17 vanilla wafers
2 large ripe bananas, diced
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 tablespoons light brown sugar
3 (8-oz.) packages cream cheese, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
3 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 cup coarsely crushed vanilla wafers
*These can be hard to find; any similarly shaped gf vanilla cookie will do. I used Ginny Mini Butter Crisp and found them at my local Whole Foods
Preheat oven to 350°. Stir together first 3 ingredients in a small bowl until well blended. Press mixture onto bottom of a greased and floured 9-inch springform pan.
Stand 17 vanilla wafers around edge of pan (rounded sides against pan), pressing gently into crust to secure. Bake 10 minutes. Cool completely on a wire rack (about 30 minutes).
Combine bananas and lemon juice in a small saucepan. Stir in brown sugar. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring constantly, 1 minute or just until sugar has dissolved.
Beat cream cheese at medium speed with an electric mixer 3 minutes or until smooth. Gradually add granulated sugar, beating until blended. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating just until yellow disappears after each addition. Beat in vanilla.
Gently stir banana mixture into cream cheese mixture. Pour batter into prepared crust.
Bake at 350° for 45 to 55 minutes or until center is almost set. Remove cheesecake from oven; gently run a knife around edge of cheesecake to loosen.
Sprinkle top of cheesecake with coarsely crushed wafers. Cool completely on a wire rack (about 1 hour). Cover and chill 8 hours.
Garnish: beat 1/2 cup raw cream with a little powdered sugar and vanilla until stiff peaks form. Place dollops around outer edges of cheesecake. Top each dollop with a vanilla wafer and banana slice dipped in lemon juice (to prevent browning).