- 1-1/2 cup (1 box Pamela's Honey Grahams) Graham crackers
- 1/3 cup Melted butter unsalted
- 1-1/2 TBSP Sugar white
- 1/4 cup Macadamia nuts
- 16 oz (2 - 8 oz bars) Cream Cheese
- 1/2 cup sugar Sugar white
- 2 Eggs
- 1/4 cup Sour cream
- 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
- 8 oz can Pineapple crushed
- 8 oz tub Cool Whip
- 8 oz can Pineapple crushed
I have wanted pineapple cheesecake for about two months. This recipe is my 4th attempt. I have no idea what happened to the first three times, but it was not pretty. I wanted pineapple in the cheesecake, not just on top. The first attempt was with some lemon zest and juice, what can I say but yuk! Second, just not sure, but it did not bake in the middle. The third attempt I have no idea, but it didn’t set, was to thin, and just plain didn’t work. Somewhere along the line, I was just not getting this right.
I started researching cheesecakes that had pineapple added to the filling. I came across a recipe for another pineapple dish that used a food strainer to extract most of the juice. Well, this was not something I have tried before so what the heck, I will give it another try and it made all the difference in the world. It came out just as I imagined it would, light and refreshing.
For the crust, I always use Pamela’s Honey Grahams. These are dense graham crackers that will hold up when I add nuts to my crust and just plain easy to carry around. You can certainly try your brand and see how they work, but Pamela’s was the only one I found that held together.
I always liked the honey taste it brings to my cheesecake makes it just a little sweeter than just plain graham crackers.
This is not a hard cheesecake to make, but you just have to figure in the time that the cheesecake needs to set overnight.
Tools I use:
Take an 8 oz can of crushed pineapple and add to a strainer. I press the pineapple against the mesh. Move it around and press several times to get as much of the juice out as possible. I come back a couple of times while I am making the crust and the filling to press the pineapple again. If there is to much juice, it will cause cracks in the cheesecake filling.
In a food processor, turn the button to on and add the macadamia nuts. You want them to be close to dust in texture. While it is still running, add the graham crackers. Then you turn it off and pulse till there are no more chunks of the graham crackers left. Add the mixture to a medium-size bowl and run your fingers through to make sure there are no chunks. Add the sugar plus the melted butter and stir with a fork till it is all mixed. Line a 9X9 pan with one sheet of tin foil. Make sure it is long and hangs over two opposite sides. You will use this to pull the whole cheesecake out of the pan so you can cut it into squares.
In a stand or hand-held mixer, add the cream cheese and the sugar, mix till the sugar is incorporated. I add an egg to a small bowl (to make sure of no eggshell pieces) before I add to the mixer. Blend through before adding the 2nd egg. Add the vanilla extract and the strained pineapple to the batter. I stop the mixer and scrape the sides and across the bottom then mix for another minute to make sure all the cream cheese is blended through. Pour the pineapple cheesecake filling over the packed graham cracker crust and smooth it out. I gently drop the dish to get any air bubbles out. Preheat oven to 325° and bake for 40 minutes. When you pull it out of the oven give it a gentle jiggle in the dish, it should only move slightly. Cool for at least 1 hour on the counter then cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
Taking the pan out of the refrigerator you want to grab the tinfoil by the long ends and pull the whole thing out of the pan. The tinfoil comes off easily from the bottom crust. Using a sharp knife I cut down about 6 or 7 columns depending on how big you want your pieces. Arrange on a plate and add the topping listed below.
Thaw the Cool Whip as directed on the package. I open the 2nd 8 oz can of pineapple and drain the excess juice. Add a dollop of Cool Whip and a small end of the spoon portion of the pineapple on top of the Cool whip. This is such a fun and refreshing cheesecake.