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Caramelized Banana Cheesecake

3/4 cup pecan halves
2 Tablespoons light butter
1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
2 medium bananas, thinly sliced
2 teaspoons dark rum, optional
8 oz pkg fat-free cream cheese, softened
8 oz pkg light cream cheese, softened
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup light sour cream
1 large egg, lightly beaten
2 large egg whites, lightly beaten

1 medium banana, thinly sliced
1/3 cup your favorite preserves, such as apricot, melted

Heat oven to 325 degrees.

Place pecans on baking sheet, toast in oven about 8 minutes. Check
frequently to avoid burning, set aside.

Leave oven on. Melt 1 tbsp of the butter in non-stick skillet over
medium heat. Stir in brown sugar, cook, stirring frequently, until
melted, about 6 minutes. Add 2 sliced bananas, cook until bananas
are caramelized and soft enough to mash with back of spoon. Remove
from heat, set aside. Stir in rum, if using. Combine cream cheeses
and 3/4 c of sugar in large bowl of electric mixer. Beat until
completely blended. Add sour cream, egg and egg whites, mix well.
Add caramelized banana mixture, beat until incorporated.

Put remaining tbsp of butter, remaining 1/4 c sugar and toasted
pecans in food processor fitted with metal blade. Process until
finely ground, press on bottom of ungreased 8-inch springform pan.
Pack down firmly using palm of hand. Pour filling mixture over
crust. Place pan inside larger pan and put on oven rack. Add water
to depth of 2 inches.

Bake until firm to touch, about 1-1/2 hours.Remove from oven, let
sit on wire rack 1 hour. Refrigerate, covered, at least 3 hours or
overnight before serving. For topping, stir banana slices into
melted preserves, spoon over chilled cheesecake.


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