Oven-Roasted Banana Rum Cheesecake with Spiced Pecan Crust and Maple Rum Sauce

6-8 Servings –Prep time: 1 hour, 50 minutes
Ingredients for oven-roasted bananas:
4 large, very ripe bananas
Ingredients for the maple rum sauce:
1 cup grade B organic maple syrup
4 tablespoons Earth Balance
Sea Salt
1 tablespoon dark rum
Ingredients for the spiced pecan crust:
1 cup pecan nut floor
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
Ingredients for the 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
Ingredients to serve:
Toasted pecan halves
Make the oven-roasted bananas
Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Place the unpeeled bananas on a roasting pan and roast in the center of the oven for 15-20 minutes, until the bananas are soft, the skins are dark brown, and some juice is seeping out. Let the bananas cool to room temperature in the pan in their skins. Set aside. Increase the oven temperature to 400 F.
Make the maple rum sauce
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.
Remove from the heat and add the rum, stirring well. Let cool for a few minutes, then taste and add more salt if necessary. Cool to room temperature, then transfer to a squeeze bottle. The sauce can be re-warmed by putting the bottle in a pan of hot water off the heat.
Make the spiced pecan crust
Combine all the crust ingredients in a bowl and stir until well incorporated. Press the crust into a 9-inch spring-form pan and put in the freezer for 5 minutes. Bake in the cent of the oven for 8-10 minutes, until the crust looks a little dry and the edges are light golden. Remove to a wire rack to cool completely.
Make the filling
Peel the roasted bananas and remove any obvious strings. In a food processor, puree the bananas until smooth, scraping the sides of the bowl periodically; do not over-process or the cream cheese will separate and curdle.
Pour the filling into the crust and back on the center rack of the oven for 10 minutes. Reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees F and bake for another 35-45 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 into the center should come out clean.
Let the cheesecake cool to room temperature on a rack at least 1 hour, then over with plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator for at least 3 hours, preferably overnight.
Re-warm the sauce in a pan of hot water. Use on offset spatula or a thin knife to loosen the edges of the cheesecake, remove the sides of the pan, and cut the cake into sliced. Serve with warm sauce and toasted pecans.
This recipe is a sample from "The Conscious Cook" by Tal Ronnen. For more amazing recipes from Tal Ronnen, click here.