Grilled Pineapple NY Cheesecake

Grilled Pineapple NY Cheesecake combines amazingly sweet and tasty grilled pineapple with a slightly modified version of Vito’s Mom’s recipe for New York Style Cheesecake.  The recipe was created at the request of Libia Salazar, a friend of Vito’s from elementary and high school days, for her husband who loves pineapple and cheesecake.

There are “must-do” parts in this recipe: 1) use a 9” or 10” springform pan, preferably with a non-stick coating, 2) use an electric hand mixer and 3) after baking, leave the cheesecake in the oven with the door propped open and the heat turned off for 1 hour to rest.

While many recipes call for using a bain marie or water bath when baking a cheesecake, it can be cumbersome.  For most home bakers, it is difficult to execute properly and if you get a leak between the springform pan and the bain marie, you have a soggy disaster on your hands.  While the water bath method is supposed to result in less cracking of the top crust, that has not been my experience.  That said, some light cracking in the cheesecake’s top crust adds character and the small crevices serve as wonderful reservoirs for the grilled pineapple rum sauce topping.  Grilled Pineapple NY Cheesecake is beautiful to serve and absolutely delicious to eat; it is well worth time required to make it.

Grilled Pineapple NY Cheesecake

For the crust: Prep Time: 15 minutes Total Time: 35 to 45 minutes.

For the grilled pineapple: Prep Time: 15 minutes, Total Time: 40 minutes.

For the cheesecake: Prep Time: 1-hour, Total Time: 3 hours, 20 minutes.

Yields One 9 or 10-inch cheesecake of 8 servings.

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For the crust:

  • 1 ½ cup Almond Flour
  • ¼ cup Coconut Flour
  • ½ tsp. Baking Powder
  • ¼ tsp. fine Sea Salt
  • 4 tbs. melted Unsalted Butter
  • 1 large Egg, beaten

For the grilled pineapple:

  • 1 very ripe* 3 to 4-pound whole Pineapple
  • 2 oz. Rum, preferably dark (optional)

For the cheesecake:

  • 4 8-ounce packages Cream Cheese, do not use low or no fat cream cheese
  • 6 Eggs
  • ¾ cup Sugar or Stevia
  • 1 pint/16 oz/2 cups Sour Cream
  • 2 Tb Corn Starch
  • 2 Tb Vanilla Extract
  • Finely grated zest of 1 Lemon* (optional but strongly recommended)
  • Unsalted butter at room temperature for the springform pan


Making the crust and preparing the pineapple (recommend doing this a day ahead of making the cheesecake):

  1. Preheat oven to 350° F. In a large bowl, mix together the almond flour, coconut flour, baking powder, and sea salt.
  2. Add melted butter, mix with the dry ingredients lightly, then add the beaten egg and mix together to form the crust dough.
  3. Using your hands, press the dough evenly into the bottom of a 9 or 10-inch springform pan, taking care to avoid thicker crust at the bend of the pan from the bottom to the sides; prick the dough with a fork to make holes into the crust.
  4. Bake the crust to a light golden-brown, approximately 20 to 30 minutes depending upon the calibration of your oven; remove the crust from the oven place on a rack and allow to cool completely. Do not remove the crust from the springform pan.
  5. Place the ripe pineapple on a cutting board and, using a bread knife, cut off the top/crown about 1-inch below the leaves, then cut off the bottom at the bend. Stand the pineapple on the cutting board and carefully slice the outside off from top to bottom, like paring an apple.  Lay the pineapple on its side on the cutting board and slice into ½-inch thick rings.
  6. With the grill on a high heat, lay the pineapple on the grilling surface and cook until the slices begin to develop a light char, due to the sugar content in the juice, turn once and repeat with the other side. Remove to a bowl and allow to cool enough to be handled, about 5 minutes.
  7. With a sharp knife, remove the center core from the pineapple slices, discard the cores and cut the slices in approximately ½-inch pieces. Place the pineapple pieces in an air-tight container, add the rum, mix, cover and refrigerate overnight; this will be both the cheesecake filling and a pineapple rum sauce to top the finished Grilled Pineapple NY Cheesecake with when you serve it.

Making the cheesecake:

  1. Let cream cheese soften in its packaging at room temperature for an hour before using.
  2. While the cream cheese is coming to room temperature, place a small colander in a bowl large enough to contain it. Remove the pineapple rum sauce from the refrigerator. Use a slotted spoon to place 1 ½ cups of the pineapple pieces in the colander and allow it to drain.  Return the drained rum and pineapple juice from the bowl to the pineapple rum sauce.
  3. Remove the softened cream cheese from its packaging and place in a large mixing bowl. Zest one lemon and reserve, if using.
  4. Separate the egg yolks from the whites. Reserve the egg whites separately.
  5. Add the egg yolks to the softened cream cheese along with the sugar or stevia, sour cream, corn starch, vanilla extract and optional lemon zest. Using an electric hand-mixer, mix until well-blended; the batter will not be entirely smooth.
  6. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F and grease the springform pan generously with the unsalted butter.
  7. Add the egg whites to a separate bowl, preferably a copper one-ring bowl designed for beating egg whites (see picture). Beat egg whites, using an electric hand-mixer with the whisk attachment, until stiff peaks form.
  8. Using a rubber spatula, gently fold half the whipped egg whites into the batter until lightly combined, then fold the remaining whipped egg whites into the batter taking care not to overly mix the batter.
  9. Pour the half of the batter into the springform pan slowly and give the pan a gentle shake to evenly settle batter in the pan.
  10. Place a single layer of the well-drained pineapple pieces on top of the batter in the springform pan, then spoon the remaining batter on top of the pineapple layering the batter to just below the rim of the springform pan and again give the pan a gentle shake to evenly settle batter in the pan
  11. Place the springform pan on a baking sheet and bake at 325 degrees F on a centered rack in the oven for 1 hour and 20 minutes at which time the cheesecake’s center will appear firm and the top a deep golden-brown color.
  12. This step is mission critical! Turn off the oven, pop the oven door open a few inches, most ovens have a catch in the door mechanism to permit this, and let the cheesecake cool in-place for a minimum of 1 hour. Do not remove the cheesecake from the oven.  There will be some settling as the cheesecake cools which is normal.
  13. Remove the cheesecake in the springform pan and baking sheet from the oven and set the baking sheet aside.  Place the springform pan on the counter and run a blunt-tipped knife around edge of the cheesecake to release it from the pan and allow it to continue to cool for at least 30 minutes.
  14. Using the lever, release sides of the springform pan and use the blunt-tipped knife once again to release any spots of the cheesecake’s sides which may still be stuck to the pan. Remove the springform pan sides and allow the cheesecake to continue to cool completely.
  15. This recipe will yield 8 servings; you can cut thinner slices but I don’t recommend it as they will likely fall apart when serving.  Serve the sliced Grilled Pineapple NY Cheesecake with a tablespoon or two of the grilled pineapple rum sauce on top and a good strong cup of coffee. Enjoy!

Grilled Pineapple NY Cheesecake


  • To test if a pineapple is ripe, it should give off a pronounced pineapple aroma at the base and a leaf should come out easily from the crown when tugged.
  • Preparing the crust and the pineapple can be done a day ahead of preparing the cheesecake and we strongly recommend that you do so.