by Heather Harris Brady
Since it’s been absolutely sweltering for the past week, my oven’s been getting a rest, but I made an exception for this cheesecake because the kids picked blueberries with grandpa and the berries are gorgeous. So think of this as a summer cheesecake. It’s much lighter than most, bright with lemon on the inside and pineapple on the outside. It’s also easy. If you have a food processor you can have it ready for the oven in under 10 minutes.
This would be easy to adapt to gluten free by switching to GF crumbs.
Cheesecake with Caramelized Pineapple, Makes one 8″ cake
For the topping:
- One fresh pineapple, peeled and cored
- 3/4 c. brown sugar
- 2 T. water
- 2 T. butter
For the crust:
- One box of ‘Nilla wafers, or other vanilla wafer cookies
- 1/3 c. butter, melted
- 2 T. sugar
For the filling:
- 2 8-oz. pkgs. 1/3-less-fat cream cheese
- 1-3/4 c. lowfat cottage cheese
- 2 large eggs
- 1/2 c. granulated sugar
- 1/3 c. unbleached all-purpose flour
- 1 T. lemon zest or 1 t. lemon extract or lemon bakery emulsion
Optional: Fresh blueberries
Fill a baking dish with water and put it in the oven. Preheat the oven to 325.
Make the crust: Pour four cups of the wafers into a food processor, along with the sugar. Grind to fine crumbs. Pour the crumbs into a mixing bowl and stir in the butter. Reserve one cup of crumbs, then press the rest into the bottom of a greased 8″ springform pan.
Wash the food processor bowl and reassemble, and put all the filling ingredients in.
Process until smooth, about one minute.
It will be nice and thick.
Spoon it into the pan and smooth the top.
Put it into the oven to bake for about 40-50 minutes. While the cake is baking make the caramelized pineapple.
Combine the water, brown sugar and butter in a saucepan. Bring it to a boil over medium heat.
Chop up the pineapple. When the syrup has boiled for about five minutes, add the pineapple.
It might splatter a little bit. Cook for another 10 minutes. Apparently I forgot to take a picture of the cooked pineapple, but we’ll get to it in a minute. The pineapple will start to get a little transparent. Take it off the heat and set it aside.
When the cheesecake is only a tiny bit jiggly in the center, take it out of the oven.
The top might crack a little bit but that’s okay. Run a knife around the outside, then take the reserve crumbs and put them around the outside edge and spoon the pineapple into the middle, like so:
Reserve the pineapple syrup. Put the cake in the refrigerator until thoroughly chilled. To serve remove the ring from the pan and slice.
Drizzle each plate with some of the pineapple syrup, add the cheesecake and fresh blueberries.