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Pina Colada Cheesecake

By 7:08 AM , ,

This eighty and ninety degree weather sure does make it seem like summer is here to stay, and you'll find no complaints in this house.

What do you think of when you think of summer? Beaches, BBQ and tropical drinks come to my mind. From margaritas to mojitos, I love those kind of drinks when the temperatures soar. Pina coladas are one of those drinks that while I love, I hardly ever drink. Mostly, because I know how many calories those little suckers tend to have.

But when I saw this Taste of Home recipe for Pina Colada Cheesecake, I just couldn't resist. For what it's worth, it does call for reduced fat cream cheese.

As far as the preparing/baking process goes, this was really no different than any other cheesecake - nothing crazy or special called for.

This cheesecake was wonderful! Very creamy, but not one of those super thick and dense cheese cake (ala Lindy's - which I love as well).  You definitely got the pina colada taste, but it wasn't overly sweet.  I also really enjoyed the texture of the toasted coconut and shortbread crust.

Everyone was a huge fan of this, and went on and on about how good it was.

This cheesecake can be easily made gluten free by substituting gluten free shortbread cookies in the crust for the regular shortbread cookies it calls for. I did this, so that my dad could enjoy.

Pina Colada Cheesecake

15 shortbread cookies, crushed
1 cup flaked coconut, toasted
3 tablespoons butter, melted

3 packages (8 ounces each) reduced-fat cream cheese
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup cream of coconut, plus 2 tbsp
3 tablespoons 2% milk
3/4 teaspoon rum extract
3 eggs, lightly beaten

1/2 fresh pineapple, peeled and cored
3 tablespoons apple jelly (I used apricot preserves)
Edible blossoms, optional
Place a greased 9-in. springform pan on a double thickness of heavy-duty foil (about 18 in. square). Securely wrap foil around pan.

In a small bowl, combine cookie crumbs and coconut; stir in butter. Press onto the bottom of prepared pan. Place pan on a baking sheet. Bake at 325° for 8-10 minutes or until set and lightly browned. Cool on a wire rack.

In a large bowl, beat cream cheese and sugar until smooth. Beat in the cream of coconut, milk and extract. Add eggs; beat on low speed just until combined. Pour over crust. Place springform pan in a large baking pan; add 1 in. of hot water to larger pan.

Bake at 325° for 1-1/4 to 1-1/2 hours or until center is just set and top appears dull. Remove springform pan from water bath. Cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Carefully run a knife around edge of pan to loosen; cool 1 hour longer. Refrigerate overnight.

Thinly slice pineapple; arrange on cheesecake. Warm apple jelly; brush over pineapple. Refrigerate until chilled. Just before serving, garnish with blossoms if desired. Yield: 12 servings.

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