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   Holiday Cranberry Banana Cheesecake

2 cups graham cracker crumbs
3/4 cup plus 2 Tbsp. sugar, divided
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/3 cup margarine, melted
1 can (16 oz.) whole berry cranberry sauce
1-1/2 tsp. cornstarch
3 pkg. (8 oz. each) light cream cheese, softened
2 tsp. lemon peel
1 Tbsp. lemon juice
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/4 tsp. salt
2 extra-ripe, medium bananas
3/4 cup light sour cream

Combine cracker crumbs, 1/4 cup sugar, cinnamon, and margarine. Pat on bottom and 3/4 of the way up side of 9-inch spring form pan. Bake at 350 degrees F, 10 minutes or until lightly brown. Cool. Combine cranberry sauce and cornstarch in saucepan. Cook, stirring, until sauce boils and thickens. Remove 1/2 cup for topping; set aside. Beat cream cheese, 1/2 cup sugar, lemon peel, lemon juice, vanilla, and salt. Puree bananas (1 cup); blend into cheese mixture. Spoon 2 cups cheese mixture into cooled crust. Spoon cranberry filling over. Cover with remaining cheese mixture. Bake for 45 minutes. Remove from oven. Combine sour cream and remaining 2 Tbsp. sugar; spread over top. Spoon reserved 1/2 cup cranberry topping in center to form a circle. Gently swirl cranberry and sour cream. Return to oven 15 minutes more or until glaze is firm. Cool. Run thin knife around inside of pan to loosen cheesecake; chill 6 hours or overnight. Remove side of spring form pan before slicing. Garnish with mint if desired. Makes: 12 servings.

 


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