Thursday, January 3, 2008

Banana Cream Pie Cheesecake. . .A Confused Dessert

I want a cream pie made out of homemade custard and I want a banana cheesecake. . .but I only want a slice of each. My Golden Retriever, Rocky, is already looking rather plump so giving him any leftovers is out of the question. . .poor thing! I am seriously considering getting him his own treadmill to jog next to me. . .they used to do doggy treadmills on the American cartoon The Jetsons. . .and it looked like it worked wonderfully. =D

Sharing is always wonderful but everyone I know has New Years resolutions that involve diet and exercise. So I would feel terribly guilty by trying to persuade anyone in having something that deters their resolutions. . .so the solution. . .COMBINE the two desserts! Yep. Banana Cream Pie Cheesecake! Yummy!
I loved the whole dessert except for when I made the custard for the cream pie part on top of the cheesecake. I really wish I had scraped the vanilla bean seeds into the custard for the flavor instead of using vanilla extract. I use a top quality extract but there is such a big difference in flavor. This dessert took me two days to put together because there are several baking and chilling times. The Banana Cream Pie Cheesecake is beautiful, delicious and weighs a ton! I lifted it out of the refrigerator and I was shocked at just how heavy it is! Has to be good. . .Right? The creamy custard was cooked stove top and then chilled just long enough to cool and be added to heavy cream that had been whipped just to soft peaks.
I was so proud because I did a water bath for the cheesecake and ended up with zero cracks on top. I know, I know, it is covered with a cream pie topping so no one would know the difference except ME! I learned to be patient this time and I also learned to slide a knife around the side of the cheesecake pan so that the cheesecake didn't pull from the middle. There is a slight creamy texture overload because your tongue is competing with the flavors of a creamy pie and a creamy cheesecake. . . and the overall combination is a winner! When I make this again. . .and I will =D, it will be for company because there is just tooo much dessert for just a few people. So GOOD though.
Ingredients:

First of all: Before you start, I would like to say that with the inclusion of chilling time-this cheesecake takes 4 hours and 35 minutes. If you chill this overnight. . .***Then you have taken 3 hours of the chilling time away***which means you are almost done =D
Crust:
1 1/4 c. vanilla wafer crumbs (I used my food processer to make the crumbs)
1/2 c. ground pecans
5 T. butter, melted
Filling:
4 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, room temperature
1 1/8 c. white sugar
3 T. all-purpose flour
4 eggs
1 c. sour cream
2 ripe bananas, mashed
1/4 c. banana liqueur
1 1/2 t. vanilla extract
Creamy Custard Topping:
1 1/2 t. unflavored gelatin
3 T. cold water
1 c. milk
1/3 c. white sugar
4 egg yolks
2 t. vanilla extract (next time I will scrape a vanilla bean instead of using the extract)
1 1/2 c. heavy whipping cream, chilled

Directions:

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease the sides of a 9-inch springform pan. In a medium bowl, mix together the vanilla wafer crumbs, ground pecans, and melted butter. Press into the bottom of the prepared pan.
2. In a large bowl, stir cream cheese to soften. Mix together 1 1/8 cups sugar and flour; stir into the cream cheese until smooth. Stir in eggs one at a time, mixing until well blended after each one. Stir sour cream, mashed banana, banana liqueur and 1 1/2 t. of vanilla extract. Pour over the crust in the springform pan.
3. Cover the bottom of the outside of the cheesecake pan with aluminum foil to prevent water from the water bath from seeping in. Place springform pan inside a larger pan. Place the whole thing into the preheated oven and fill the outer pan with hot water.
4. Bake for 45 minutes in the preheated oven. After the time is up, turn the oven off, but leave the door closed. Leave cheesecake in the unopened oven for 1 hour. Before removing from the water bath, run a knife around the outer edge of the cake to keep it from shrinking away from the center and cracking. Let cool to room temperature, then refrigerate until chilled, at least 3 hours, or overnight.
5. In a small bowl, sprinkle the unflavored gelatin over the cold water, and set aside to soften. Heat milk in a small saucepan over medium-low heat until hot but not boiling. Meanwhile, whisk together 1/3 cup sugar and egg yolks until smooth and frothy. Whisk about 1/3 of the hot milk into the egg yolk mixture, then pour the yolk mixture into the pan with the remaining milk. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly with a spoon or whip, making sure that the mixture does not burn on the bottom, until it is thick enough to coat the back of a metal spoon. Remove from the heat. Stir the softened gelatin into the hot pastry cream until dissolved, then stir in vanilla. Pour into a bowl, place a sheet of plastic wrap directly on the surface, and refrigerate until cooled, about 1 hour.
6. When the pastry cream is cooled, whip heavy cream just past soft peaks. Stir pastry cream to soften, then fold in the whipped cream. Spread the vanilla cream over the entire top. Chill until serving. Run a wet knife around the outer edge of the cake before removing the sides for a cleaner look.
The cheesecake isn't hard to make but the waiting period is hard =S

26 comments:

Peter M said...

A fabulous pie/cake, Shandi. It reminds of homemade desserts on display in family run diners...the best food there ever was!

Deborah said...

What a brilliant idea to combine the two!! It sounds absolutely decadent!

Kristin said...

I made this for our early Thanksgiving dinner this year. We all have different schedules and decided to celebrate early. This is fantastic, smooth creamy, banana and vanilla delight. The crust was also a nice contrast with the pecans and the nilla wafers. I made some modifications, minor ones and used a regular cake pan to bake in. I really dislike springform pans, no matter how much I wrap that darn thing water always gets in. So, I have been experimenting with regular pans and have had great success. I digress, what I really wanted to convey was a HUGE thanks for the recipe, you are very creative! Happy Thanksgiving to you!

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