I love to bake. Seriously. And given the opportunity to bake something from the Disney Recipe Collection I will jump right! Baking is also my go-to form of stress relief, so following the events of last week it was a needed part of my weekend.
So, when Disney Executive Chef Robert Gilbert mentioned on Twitter that Saturday, April 20th was National Pineapple Upside Down Cake Day I was on a mission. Not only a mission to bake some amazing Pineapple Upside Down Cake, but to find a Disney recipe for the delectable treat. After quite a bit of searching I happened upon a copy of the recipe for Pineapple Upside Down Cheesecake from Boma at Animal Kingdom Lodge. Now, to be honest, I can’t verify the recipe is indeed from Boma, as they no longer seem to serve this tasty dessert, but I did find it on a few different sites so I’m going to tell myself its authentic regardless.
The recipe seemed simple enough, and unlike the Crème Brulee Cheesecake I make using a Disney recipe from the Disney Cruise Line, this one does not take all day to make. So, I gathered my ingredients and got started.
This recipe calls for a fairly straightforward list of ingredients and supplies.
For the Cheesecake:
¼ of a fresh pineapple (peeled and cut into tidbits)
¾ cup brown sugar, divided into ¼ cup & ½ cup
4 8oz packages of cream cheese, softened
1 cup of sugar
½ teaspoon of pure vanilla
½ teaspoon of lemon juice
¼ cup heavy cream
¼ cup sour cream
For the Crust:
1 cup of white chocolate, melted
¼ cup graham cracker crumbs
Cupcake pan or miniature springform pans
Mixer w/ whisk attachment
Pan Release Spray (is that equipment? It gets to be!)
Nothing crazy in that list!
Now, on to the fun!
Preheat the oven to 300 degrees and spray cupcake molds with a high quality pan release (I didn’t and they were a pain to remove from the pan).
First prepare the “upside down” part by mixing ¼ cup of brown sugar with the fresh pineapple tidbits in your saucepan. Cook over medium heat until the pineapple has cooked to nice translucent yellow and the sugars and pineapple juices have mixed together nicely. Remove from heat and set aside to cool.
Note: You might consider preparing a double batch of the pineapple, as I had enough of the cheesecake mixture left to make an actual cheesecake. Had I had extra cooked pineapple I could have made a second dozen or so cupcakes.
Divide the remaining ½ cup of brown sugar among the cupcake molds. Then, divide the cooled, cooked pineapple evenly and spoon on top of the brown sugar.
Prepare your cheesecake filling by creaming the cream cheese and sugar together in your stand mixer. Make sure your cream cheese has softened to room temperature to ensure a smooth cheesecake.
Add in your eggs and vanilla extract slowly, stopping to scrap the sides and bottom of your bowl periodically to prevent lumps from forming.
Combine the lemon juice, sour cream and heavy cream and add slowly to the cream cheese mixture. Allow to mix thoroughly, again stopping to scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl.
Spoon the cream cheese mixture evenly into the prepared pan, leaving about a ¼ of an inch at the top for the crust.
Place your cupcake pan into a jelly roll pan and fill the jelly roll pan with water until it reaches halfway up the sides of the cupcake wells. This will allow the cheesecakes to cook in a water bath, which I’m told helps keep them from cracking and aids them in cooking evenly.
Bake for approximately 30 minutes, or until the cheesecake has set.
Carefully remove from the oven and remove the cupcake pan from the water. Discard the water, and set the cheesecakes aside to cool.
Prepare the “crust” by melting the white chocolate in the microwave according to the package instructions. Once smooth add in the graham cracker crumbs and stir until nicely combined.
Spoon the chocolate mixture on top of the cooled cheesecakes evenly and place in the refrigerator overnight, or if you are like me stick them in the freezer for an hour or so because you want to have them with dinner.
Once the chocolate has set turn the molds upside down and release them from the pan. If they don’t release easily (like mine didn’t), grab a butter knife and warm it in a cup full of hot water, then run it around the edges of the molds.
Eat and Enjoy!
This dessert was a huge hit with my family, and the perfect mix of flavors. It was light and creamy, and the pineapple bottom had perfectly caramelized with the brown sugar. I wasn’t a huge fan of the crust, but I think that was more because I don’t really like white chocolate than anything else.
I hope you enjoy making this for your family! It was truly a fantastic little Taste of Disney!