A bunch of overripe bananas on the counter is a great excuse for whipping up this banana rum cheese dessert. You want the skins to have a few brown spots—no green. It’s the moisture of the extra-ripe bananas that makes for the traditional cheesecake texture.–Tal Ronnen
LC Vegan Cheesecake? Believe It. Note
If you weren’t the one making this “cheesecake,” you’d probably never guess it’s dairy-free and vegan, and we say that cause you’d certainly never guess this based on its taste or its texture. But believe it. Vegan cheesecake. Maybe the kids will come home for Thanksgiving after all.
Banana Rum Cheesecake
- Quick Glance
- 1 H
- 5 H, 30 M
- Serves 6 to 8
Special Equipment: 9-inch springform pan
- For the oven-roasted bananas
- 4 large very ripe bananas
- For the maple rum sauce
- 1 cup grade B maple syrup, preferably organic
- 4 tablespoons Earth Balance
- Sea salt, to taste
- 1 tablespoon dark rum
- For the spiced pecan crust
- 1 cup pecan nut flour (see DIY Nut Flour Note below)
- 1/2 cup spelt flour (white or whole)
- 1 tablespoon firmly packed light brown sugar
- 4 tablespoons Earth Balance, partially melted
- 1/8 teaspoon ground cardamom
- 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
- Pinch of sea salt
- For the cheesecake filling
- 16 ounces nondairy cream cheese
- 3/4 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
- 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 cup dark rum
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- To serve
- Toasted pecan halves
- Make the oven-roasted bananas
- 1. Preheat the oven to 325°F (163°C). Adjust the oven rack to the center position.
- 2. Place the unpeeled bananas in a roasting pan and roast in the center of the oven for 15 to 20 minutes, until the bananas are soft, the skins are dark brown, and some of the juice is seeping out. Let the bananas cool to room temperature in the pan in their skins. Increase the oven temperature to 400°F (204° C).
- Make the maple rum sauce
- 3. In a small saucepan, combine the maple syrup, Earth Balance, and salt to taste and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer, stirring frequently, until the sauce has thickened slightly, about 10 minutes.
- 4. Remove the pan from the heat and add the rum, stirring well. Be careful, as the sauce will bubble up a bit. Let cool for a few minutes, then taste and, if necessary, add more salt. Cool to room temperature, then transfer to a squeeze bottle. (The sauce can be rewarmed by placing the bottle in a pan of hot water off the heat.)
- Make the spiced pecan crust
- 5. Combine all the crust ingredients in a bowl and stir until really well combined. Press the crust into a 9-inch springform pan and place in the freezer for 5 minutes. Bake in the center of the oven for 8 to 10 minutes, until the crust looks a little dry and the edges are light golden. Place the pan on a wire rack and let cool completely.
- Make the filling
- 6. Peel the roasted bananas and remove any obvious strings. In a food processor, puree the bananas until very smooth. Add the remaining filling ingredients and pulse until smooth, scraping the sides of the bowl periodically. Do not overprocess or the nondairy cream cheese will separate and curdle.
- 7. Pour the filling into the crust and bake for 10 minutes. Reduce the oven temperature to 350°F (176°C) and bake for another 35 to 45 minutes, until the top is the color of light brown sugar and the center of the cheesecake is set but still jiggles slightly. A toothpick inserted in the center should come out clean.
- 8. Let the cheesecake cool on a wire rack until room temperature, at least 1 hour. Cover the cheesecake with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 3 hours and preferably overnight.
- To serve
- 9. Rewarm the sauce in a pan of hot water. Use an offset spatula or a thin-bladed knife to loosen the edge of the cheesecake. Remove the sides of the pan and cut the cake into slices. Serve with the warm sauce and toasted pecans.
DIY Nut Flour
- To make your own nut flour, first freeze raw nuts overnight. Place about 1 cup frozen nuts in a food processor at a time and pulse until finely ground. Repeat as needed. Freezing the nuts prevents them from turning to nut butter in the food processor as the blade heats up—but be warned, it will be loud!