A few days ago, on the 13th was the blog’s birthday! Last year I made an impressive Concorde Gateau (aka Chocolate Mousse Meringue Cake) to celebrate the day. Today I have a Baked Pineapple Cheesecake with Greek Yogurt and Ginger for you. It’s a special dessert dedicated to a special day.
This cheesecake was on my “to bake for the blog” list for quite some time now. I don’t know why it took me so long to share this recipe with you.
The addition of strained Greek yogurt to the filling makes the cheesecake taste a bit lighter while the warm peppery flavor of the freshly ground ginger root contrasts the light and fresh lime aroma in the filling. Both ginger and lime complement the distinct, exotic pineapple flavor adding complexity to the dessert.
This Baked Pineapple Cheesecake with Greek Yogurt and Ginger is not only full in flavor. It’s also decorated to impress. In my opinion it’s one of the best ways to end an informal dinner with family and/or friends.
- For a 20cm (8in) round pan / spring-form tin
- 200g (7oz) digestive biscuits
- 1/2 tbsp freshly ground ginger root
- 80g (2.80oz) butter, melted and cooled to room temperature
- 400g (14oz) cream cheese, full fat, at room temperature
- 200g (7oz) strained Greek yogurt, full fat, at room temperature
- 2 medium sized eggs, at room temperature
- 1 yolk from a medium sized egg, at room temperature
- 100g (3.5oz) white granulated sugar (or caster sugar)
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- The zest of one lime
- 2 canned pineapple slices
- 150g (5.3oz) white granulated sugar
- 30g (1oz) butter, cubed, at room temperature
- 7 canned pineapple slices, at room temperature
- Some butter for greasing the pan/tin
- Slightly grease the bottom and sides of a springform tin. Cover base with parchment paper; set aside.
- Remove pineapple slices from the can and place them on a plate covered with kitchen paper to remove excess juice. Set aside.
- Finely crush digestive biscuits in a food processor. Transfer to a bowl, add freshly ground ginger root and mix. Then add melted butter and stir until butter fully incorporated and mixture resembles wet sand.
- Transfer biscuit mixture to the pan. Press firmly into the bottom and halfway up the sides. Refrigerate for 20 minutes, or until firm.
- Place cream cheese in mixer bowl and whisk. Add sugar and whisk on high speed until fluffy. Add strained Greek yogurt, vanilla extract and lime zest and whisk again until fully incorporated. Then lower mixer speed to medium. Add eggs and egg yolk, one at a time, and beat just until combined (don’t overbeat after adding the eggs).
- Cut two pineapple slices in small pieces.
- Remove springform pan from the fridge. Pour cream cheese filling carefully over the crust. Sprinkle pineapple pieces over the filling. Use a spoon or a spatula to gently push pieces into the filling so they are completely covered.
- Bake in a pre-heated, conventional, oven at 160oC (325oF) for 40 minutes; edges will be slightly puffed and center will not be completely set. Turn off the heat and let the cheesecake sit in the oven undisturbed for 10 minutes. Then crack oven door open and leave cheesecake inside to cool for 1 hour.
- Remove cheesecake from the oven and transfer on a wire rack. Carefully run a thin knife around the edges. Let the cheesecake cool completely.
- Place a non-stick frying pan over medium heat. Place sugar in the pan and wait until it melts completely and turns into caramel. Stir in butter with a heatproof spatula. Carefully lay pineapple slices in the pan. Let them caramelize from one side. Then flip them over and let them caramelize from the other side. Remove pan from heat. Allow caramel and pineapples to cool before placing on cooled cheesecake.
- Cover cheesecake surface with caramelized pineapples and top with caramel.
- Refrigerate cheesecake for at least 4 hours, preferably overnight, before slicing and serving.
- - You will need 9 canned pineapple slices in total (2 will be incorporated in the cream cheese mixture and 7 will be caramelized and placed on top of the cheesecake). That usually translates to one net weight 565g / 20oz can of pineapple slices (drained weight 350g / 13.3oz).
- - I really like using freshly ground ginger root to spice up the crust because I like its distinct lemony flavor. You can use dried ground ginger instead.
- - Using a springform pan to bake a cheesecake is probably the best option because all you have to do is to remove the sides. You can serve the cheesecake directly on the springform bottom. Just be careful not to scratch it when slicing the cheesecake.
- - Greasing the pan (bottom and sides) is one way to prevent the cheesecake from cracking. However, if your pan is not leakproof, melted butter can escape the bottom spilling over the oven. I suggest wrapping the outside of the springform tin with aluminum foil or placing it on a roasting pan, instead of the oven rack, when baking.
- - Baking cheesecake in a water bath: As you can see in the photos I baked my cheesecake in an open cake ring because I didn’t have a 20cm (8in) springform tin available. When using an open cake ring baking your cheesecake in a water bath is not a good idea because water gets in the ring messing your cheesecake. Baking cheesecake in a water bath is one more way to prevent cracks. If you want to learn more about this way of baking then read the links posted down below for more information and how to photos.
- - Melt sugar over medium heat to prevent it from burning. Caramel should have a light brown color. As caramel turns darker it also tastes bitter.
- - All ingredients used in this recipe should be at room temperature. Ingredients added to melted sugar (butter and pineapple slices) should also be at room temperature to prevent caramel temperature from dropping too fast.
- - You can make the cheesecake and refrigerate overnight. The following day make the topping, let it cool and cover the cheesecake a few hours before serving.
- - After cheesecake is properly set it’s easier to transfer it to a pretty platter or a cake stand. Remove springform ring. Place the plate next to the cheesecake. Grab the edge of the baking paper and gently slide cheesecake from springform bottom to the plate.
Talking about cheesecake cracks.
As you can see in the photo above there was a crack in my cheesecake. Baked cheesecakes are known for developing cracks on the surface. There are some things you can do to prevent cracks.
Things don’t always go as planned though, and there is always a possibility of a crack, big or small, that can potentially ruin the appearance of your cheesecake. The best way to deal with an unwanted crack is to accept it is there and then move on and cover it up. Usually cheesecakes (baked and unbaked) are covered with something. In this case the Baked Pineapple Cheesecake with Greek Yogurt and Ginger was covered with caramelized pineapple slices that helped me hide that thing in the middle.
My crack was the result of a quick temperature change. I am guilty of a) not baking my cheesecake in a water bath and b) not allowing my cheesecake to cool in the oven. I wanted to roast a chicken for lunch and I took the cheesecake out of the oven while it was still hot.
Instead of copying information about preventing cheesecake cracks from various sources I will post links to some articles that, in my opinion, provide thorough and accurate information on the subject.
- How to keep cheesecake from cracking, by wikiHow.
- How to make perfect cheesecake, by the kitchn.
- How to prevent cracks in cheesecake, by Sally’s baking addiction.
- Water bath for Cheesecake, video.
This post is also available in: Greek