3 tablespoons dark rum, 2 tablespoons for banana filling and 1 tablespoons for whipped cream (optional)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In a medium bowl, stir together crushed vanilla wafers, chopped pecans, and melted butter. Press into bottom of a greased and parchment 9” springform pan
Stand 17 vanilla wafers around edge of pan with rounded sides facing outward. Press them gently into the crust.
In a small saucepan, combine bananas (both diced and mashed) and lemon juice. Stir in brown sugar, and optional rum. Cook over medium heat until brown sugar dissolves, about 1 minute. Remove from heat.
Using an electric mixer, beat cream cheese at medium speed until smooth, about 3 minutes.
Gradually add granulated sugar.
Add eggs, one at a time and stopping to scrape down sides of bowl after each addition. Do not over beat. Only beat until most of yellow disappears before adding next egg.
Beat in vanilla extract.
Stir banana mixture in until evenly mixed. Pour batter into springform pan on top of crust.
Bake for 45 to 55 minutes, until center is almost set. Jiggle the pan to check. (I personally do this in a water bath to avoid cracking)
Turn oven off, open door about 6 inches and leave cheesecake in oven to cool for about 1 hour.
Remove cheesecake to counter to cool for another 30 minutes. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 8 hours before serving.