Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Key Lime Cheesecake

My other go-to for recipe ideas and innovations?  Smitten Kitchen, of course.  So when I saw she had made a lovely key lime cheesecake, I quickly added it to my list for DESSERT FEST 2010! because it is one of my favorite desserts (shocking, I know...I'm a huge chocolate girl).  She adapted her recipe to make mini-tarts, but I took the original recipe from Gourmet to make one large cheesecake. 

And good thing.  This light, tangy tart was a huge hit amongst our DESSERT FEST 2010! crowd, right up there with Josh's Red Velvet!

Here I used a mortar and pestle to crush the graham crackers.  You can very well use a food processor, I just wanted to use a mortar/pestle because I never do use them and Mai had one.

Patting the crust into the springform pan

Green Eggs and Ham sour cream

Ready to go into the oven

90 minutes later, here we are!

Key Lime Cheesecake, adapted from Gourmet

Makes one 9-9.5" cheesecake, for about 8-10 people

  • 1 1/4 cups finely ground graham crackers (you can use a food processor or a mortar and pestle)*
  • 3 tbsp. sugar
  • 1/2 stick unsalted butter, melted
*I actually used moree ground graham crackers.  I'm not sure if I was supposed to measure AFTER I ground them up, but I used almost the whole box of honey-maid.  I wanted a tall crust!

  • 2 8-oz. packages of cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1 cup plus 2 tbsp. sugar
  • 3/4 cup fresh key lime juice, or bottled (I used nellie & joes).  If you use fresh key limes (wouldn't that be nice...) it's probably about 1 1/2 pounds of key limes
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla
  • 2 1/2 tbsp. all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 3 large eggs
I omitted the topping, both whip cream and mangos, as I thought the cheesecake would stand out by itself.  Boy was I right!

First, make the crust.  Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and butter your 9 to 9.5 inch spring form pan.

Stir together the crumbs, sugar and butter in a bowl with a fork until it is well combined.  Press it evenly into the bottom of the pan until it is about one third up the side of the pan.  I had to make a few extra batches of the crumbs to get it to be this high. 

Bake the crust in the oven for about 8 minutes and cool it on a rack.

Next, make the filling.  Reduce the temperature to 325 degrees.  Beat the cream cheese, with an electric mixer at medium speed until fluffy, then beat in sugar. Add lime juice, sour cream, and vanilla and beat until smooth. Mix in flour and salt at low speed, scraping down side as needed, until just incorporated, then add eggs all at once and mix just until incorporated.

Pour filling into crust and set springform pan in a shallow baking pan. Bake cake in middle of oven until set in center.  The original recipe indicated that 1 hour to 1 hour and 10 minutes should be enough, but I baked mine for probably an hour and a half. Cool completely in springform pan on rack. (Cake will continue to set as it cools.)

To remove from the pan: run a thin knife around edge of cake and remove the bottom of the pan. If desired, transfer cake with a large metal spatula to a serving plate. 

I garnished the cheesecake with some kaffir lime leaves that Mai had in her fridge.

This was a nommingly-good and tart dessert.  While I normally LOVE chocolate, citrus desserts are my favorite for the different kind of taste they bring - puckery faces and all!  I would absolutely try this one again, and maybe even venture with the topping.

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