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  Bananas Foster Cheese Pie

2 Tbsp. butter
2-1/2 cups 1/4-inch-thick banana slices (about 12 oz.)
1-1/4 cups sugar, divided
3 Tbsp. lemon juice, divided
1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
Gingersnap Pie Shell (see below) or 1 (9-inch pie shell), unbaked
2 pkg. (8 oz. each) cream cheese, softened
6 eggs
1-1/2 tsp. vanilla
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
Fresh banana slices, optional
Mint leaves, optional

   In 10-inch skillet over medium heat, heat butter. Add banana slices. Cook, occasionally gently stirring without mashing, until bananas are soft, about 2 minutes. Add 1/4 cup of the sugar, 1-1/2 Tbsp. of the lemon juice, and the spice. Continue cooking and gently stirring until mixture thickens, about 1 to 1-1/2 minutes. Remove from heat. Evenly spoon banana mixture over bottom of prepared crust. In large mixing bowl at high speed, beat together cream cheese, eggs, remaining 1 cup sugar, remaining 1-1/2 Tbsp. lemon juice, and vanilla until thoroughly blended. Reduce mixer speed to low. Beat in flour just until mixture is blended and no streaks of flour remain. Place unfilled pie crust on middle rack of preheated 350-degree oven. Carefully pour filling into crust. Bake until knife inserted halfway between edge and center of pie comes out clean, about 40 to 45 minutes. Cool on wire rack, about 30 minutes to 1 hour. Chill until firm, several hours or overnight. Garnish with fresh banana slices and mint leaves, if desired. Refrigerate any leftovers. Makes 6 to 8 servings.

 


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