Tommy bahama’s pineapple upside down vanilla cheesecake

So delicious and worth the time.

2 1/2 pounds cream cheese, room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup unsalted butter
4 whole eggs
1 cup sour cream
1 1/2 tablespoons lemon zest, chopped
1 1/2 tablespoons vanilla extract
8 mini-springform pans, ramekins

Combine cream cheese, sugar and the butter in mixer bowl. Using paddle attachment mix at medium speed until creamy and fluffy - about 1 minute. Stop and scrape down the sides, mix an additional 30 seconds. Beating on low speed, add the eggs one at a time then the sour cream, lemon zest and the vanilla.

Remove the bowl and mix by hand one last time with a rubber spatula making sure to scrape the bottom and folding in any pockets of cheese or ingredients. Make sure to scrape down the paddle as well.

Wrap the bottom of each mini-pan half way up with foil, then lightly spray inside with cooking spray. Carefully measure 1 cup of batter into each pan and place the wrapped pans into a 4 inch deep oven safe pan. Pour hot water into pan until the cheesecake pans are 1/3 submerged, creating a water bath for the cheesecakes to bake in.

Carefully place pan into a preheated 325 degree oven and bake approximately 45 minutes until the centers have risen and the batter is soft to the touch. Take care when removing pan from oven as water will be very hot. Set pan on counter to cool.

Caramelized Pineapple: (Makes 8 servings)
2 cups fresh pineapple, diced, 1/2 inch (reserve the pineapple top for garnish)
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat a sauce pan. Mix all ingredients together in a mixing bowl, tossing well. Add to saucepan. Spread out in a thin layer and cook over medium heat. Do not stir too often. Toss when first side is caramelized, spread thin again and continue caramelizing. Heat until pineapple is well browned and caramelized, then remove from heat and spread out to let cool on a clean sheet pan.

Assembly: Very carefully remove cheesecakes from water bath and place on a sheet pan. Let rest at room temperature for 30 minutes. Place 2 1/2 ounces of the caramelized pineapple on top of each cheesecake, making sure to spread evenly. Wrap with plastic wrap and refrigerate until you are ready to serve the cheesecakes for dessert.

Caramel Sauce: (Makes 2 1/2 cups)
1/4 cup unsalted butter
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1 cup heavy whipping cream

In a saucepan melt butter then add sugar, stir together well with wooden spoon. Cook over medium heat stirring frequently. Cook until a caramel color is achieved. Reduce the flame, wrap a towel around your hand, and using a whip, slowly add cream a little at a time. It will rise up and overflow if you’re not careful! Whisk until well incorporated. Let simmer for one minute. Strain through a fine sieve. Let cool at room temp before use.

Note: This can be dangerous! It is molten sugar and can burn severely! Use caution when preparing at all times.

To Serve: Remove the cheesecakes from the refrigerator and take off the plastic wrap. Flip the cheesecake set upside down and place on the plate with the pineapple touching the plate. Release the outer pan and gently remove both sections of the pan. Drizzle the caramel sauce across the top of the cheesecake and sprinkle with some powdered sugar to finish. Garnish with three pineapple fronds and serve.
Remember to be careful when making the caramel sauce. Be sure your saucepan is large enough to prevent a boil-over.