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Cheesecakes of the baked or more impromptu unbaked variety are often blended through and topped with fruit that contrasts the inherent creaminess of the cheese. Some of the most successful combinations include those fruits that combine both sweet and tart elements. Pineapple cheesecake fits into this category. The primary ingredient, cream cheese, is mixed with crushed pineapple. Then the cake is topped with pineapple slices or strawberries — as-is or in a sugary compote.
Perhaps the easiest way to have pineapple cheesecake on the fly is to buy a store-bought, no-bake cheesecake mix, then stir in fresh pineapple chunks before it sets. A quick unbaked cheesecake recipe from the Taste of Home Web site involves whipping 16 oz. (about 450 g) of cream cheese with about 0.5 cup (about 100 g) of sugar. Then, just a drained can of crushed pineapple is folded in as well as about 8 oz. (about 230 g) of whipped cream. Though many types of cookies would do, this recipe uses ladyfinger cookies as the base and sides of the cake — all contained within a tall-sided casserole dish or spring-form oven pan that is left covered overnight in the refrigerator to harden.
For a baked pineapple cheesecake, a slightly different approach is needed. Many add eggs to the no-bake cheesecake recipe to make it stand up in the oven with a richer, more-solidified texture and darker crust. A recipe at the Moms Who Think Web site uses a pie crust formed with butter and crushed graham cracker, onto which would go a batter of cream cheese, eggs, sugar, milk, vanilla extract, salt and, of course, crushed pineapple. This bakes for as long as a half-hour at 325°F (about 163°C). Then, for a distinctive topping, sour cream, sugar and vanilla is whipped and spread on the top of the cake, before spending a final 10 minutes in the oven.
Some finish off pineapple cheesecake with fresh fruit. A layering of pineapple chunks would be the obvious choice, but other fruits like strawberries or raspberries would not be unusual, either. Other cooks go a step forward to coat their pineapple cheesecake with a pineapple topping. The Baking 911 Web site advised mixing crushed pineapple, sugar, lemon flavoring, yellow food coloring and cornstarch to make a pineapple topping while the cheesecake is baking.
Fruit does not have to be the focal point of cheesecake. Some make a chocolate sauce or Boston cream to play the role of topping. Many other types of flavorings are possible too, from coffee to toffee.