Every year we wait for fresh cranberries to be available just so we can have this decadent cheesecake. Everyone who has tasted it has raved about it and asked for more. It doesn't have to be difficult to be decadent. The rich creamy cheesecake filling is complemented on top by the harvest flavors of spiced cranberry and mango and the sweetness of ripe bananas and on bottom by a crispy chocolaty crust. There are never any leftovers of this recipe at Thanksgiving or Christmas!
Crush 2 cups of pretzel sticks using a rolling pin. Make sure all sticks get crushed but you don't want them too fine.
Stir the melted butter into the Nutella spread to mix and warm it
Add your 2 cups of crushed pretzels and stir to thoroughly mix.
Press the mixture into the bottom of a 9 x 9 pan.
Next, get the topping started.
Julienne the dried mango into thin strips.
Place them into a saucepan with the fresh cranberries, brown sugar, pumpkin pie spice, and water.
Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer while you make the filling.
Cook it until it reaches the consistency of jam and the mango slices have softened. You may add more water and continue cooking if needed.
Now for the filling. Soften the cream cheese by beating with the paddle attachment of your stand mixer on low speed. We don't want to incorporate a lot of air into the mixture so that it stays dense and creamy.
Slowly add the sour cream and half and half, beating on low speed until thoroughly mixed.
Add the juice and zest of one fresh lemon and the vanilla extract.
Still on low speed, add one small package of dry instant banana pudding mix and beat until mixed, scraping down the sides and bottom of the bowl so there are no lumps of cream cheese.
Pour the mixture over the crust and place it into the refrigerator for 15 minutes or until set.
Take the fruit topping off the heat and place it in the refrigerator to cool once it reaches a jammy consistency, while we work on the last steps.
Slice 2 bananas on a slight diagonal to make oval slices of banana about 1/4 inch thick. Layer them on top of the chilled filling.
Top with the cooled cranberry mango fruit topping.
When you are ready to serve...Place 1/2 cup of Nutella spread in a plastic zipper bag and close it tightly. Let it set in a bowl of hot water for a few minutes to warm it. Take it out of the bowl of hot water and snip a tiny corner of the bag and use it to drizzle Nutella across the top of each person's serving of cheesecake. Enjoy~!