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BANANA CHEESECAKE

2 cups graham cracker crumbs
1/2 cup butter or margarine, melted

8 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup sugar
2 teaspoons ground ginger
4 medium bananas
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon unflavored gelatin
3 tablespoons cold water
1/2 pint whipping cream
banana slices for garnish

Mix graham cracker crumbs and butter. Press evenly over base and
up side of 8" round springform pan, to within 1" of rim. Cover and
refrigerate while preparing filling. Beat cream cheese, sugar and
ginger together until smoothly blended. Mash the bananas with the
lemon juice. Stir into the cream cheese mixture, mixing together
well. Sprinkle gelatin over cold water in top of double boiler.
Soften for 5 minutes until spongy. Place over simmering water,
stirring occasionally, until gelatin has dissolved. Beat into banana
mixture.

Whip half the cream until soft peaks form; fold into banana mixture.
Pour the banana mixture into crust. Cover with plastic wrap and
refrigerate for at least 3 hours or until set. Loosen edges of
cheesecake and remove sides from pan. Transfer to serving plate.
Whip remaining cream until soft peaks form. Spread over top of
cheesecake. Mark a crisscross pattern in whipped cream with tines
of fork if desired. Garnish with banana slices that have been dipped
in lemon juice.

VARIATION: Sprinkle finely chopped nuts or grated semi sweet
chocolate over whipped cream on top of cheesecake. Try same recipe
using 1 lb fresh strawberries in place of bananas. Reserve 8 medium
sized strawberries, cut in half, for garnish.

Ungarnished cheesecake can be refrigerated for up to 24 hours. Do
not store the cake after the banana slices are added as they will
soften and turn brown.

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