This Thanksgiving, I put myself in charge of dessert. Besides the traditional pumpkin and apple pies, I wanted to make something different, as one member of our family doesn't like traditional fall pie spices. Last year she ate chocolate cream pie from a mix. Well, I couldn't have that again.
This one was mostly born out of the fact that I had leftover bananas in my freezer. Combine that with caramel and booze, and you have bananas foster. Throw cheesecake into the mix ... well, now you're unstoppable.
- For the cheesecake: Cream the cream cheese, cornstarch and sugar together with an electric mixer until fully combined. Add the eggs one at a time, waiting until the first one is fully incorporated before you add the other. Throw in the bananas and the rum and blend until incorporated. If you still have some banana chunks left, that's OK. Pour the batter into the pie crusts and move to the freezer for 10-15 minutes.
- For the caramel: Put the butter and brown sugar into a heavy skillet over medium-low heat. Add nutmeg to taste (I probably used 1/4 teaspoon) and cook and stir until it starts to bubble and the water is fully incorporated. Turn off the heat, pour on the rum, and flame CAREFULLY with a long-stemmed lighter. Return the caramel to the heat, and sprinkle over just a dash of cinnamon while the flames are still burning. (It makes pretty sparkles!) Cook just until the flames die down, then remove from heat.
- Get your chilled cheesecakes out of the freezer and drizzle half the caramel onto each. Using a knife, make swirly patterns with the caramel in the top of the cake. Don't stir too much -- you don't want to incorporate everything, you want the swirl.
- Bake in a 325 degree oven for 45-50 minutes. Turn the heat off and let the cheesecakes stand in the oven for another hour. Cool, then refrigerate before serving.