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Carmelized 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
1 package (8 oz.) softened light cream cheese
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup light sour cream
1 large egg, beaten lightly
2 large egg whites, lightly beaten

1 medium banana
1/3 cup of your favourite preserves, melted

Heat oven to 325F. Place pecans on baking sheet; toast in oven
about 8 minutes. Check frequently to avoid burning; set aside.
Leave oven on.

Melt 1 tablespoon 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 cup of sugar in a 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 tablespoon of butter, remaining 1/4 cup 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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