I volunteered to help Linsday at Life, Love and Sugar test recipes for her cookbook. In doing so, I figured that I might get a recipe to try that I might not have been interested in baking otherwise or one that would challenge my baking skills. When I received the recipe for Key Lime Cheesecake in my inbox, I’ll be the first to admit that I cringed. I’ve never eaten a slice of key lime pie nor would I ever order one off a menu. I’d go so far as to say that I’d rather go without dessert than even try a piece of key lime pie. It’s not that I hate limes or anything, I just wouldn’t go out of my way for a slice. So, at the very least, this recipe gave me an opportunity to try a recipe that I would otherwise not bake… and it was great!
While the cheesecake preparation was slightly different to what I have become accustomed, it was really easy to put together. I think I might replicate the baking/cooling process in the future because the cheesecake baked beautifully. The sweetened condensed milk (instead of sour cream, ricotta, or mascarpone) gave the cheesecake a light texture, and lime juice added a sweet element that was not overpowering at all. The lime curd is what makes this cheesecake special, though it is also the most challenging to make.
A number of key lime pie lovers tried it, and all of them loved the taste. I will note, however, that the most difficult part of the recipe may actually be finding key limes. This cheesecake was prepared with regular limes because I could not find key limes anywhere. Maybe they are seasonally available in the Mid-Atlantic? Who knows.
As an aside, I did find out that one of my dad’s favorite pies is key lime, so that potentially gives me a reason to test those recipes.
Here is a link with the cookbook release announcement and purchase options. It is very well done and contains a number of recipes I can’t wait to try.
KEY LIME CHEESECAKE
Based on recipe found here.
2 1/4 cups graham cracker crumbs
8 tbsp. unsalted butter, melted
3 tbsp. (39 g) granulated sugar
24 oz. cream cheese, softened to room temperature
1 cup (207 g) granulated sugar
3 tbsp. (24 g) all-purpose flour
1 cup (240 ml) sweetened condensed milk
3 tbsp. (45 ml) key lime juice
4 large eggs
Key Lime Curd:
3 tbsp. (45 ml) key lime juice
2 tsp. key lime zest, finely grated
1/3 cup (69 g) granulated sugar
3 egg yolks
2 tbsp. salted butter
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1/2 cup (58 g) powdered sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
key lime zest/curls
- For the cheesecake: Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line a 9″ springform pan with parchment paper and butter the sides.
- Mix the crust ingredients in a small bowl, then press into the bottom and up the sides of the springform pan.
- Bake the crust for 10 minutes, then remove from the oven to cool. Once cool, cover the outside of the pan with aluminum foil. Set aside.
- Reduce oven temperature to 300 degrees.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer on low speed, blend the cream cheese, sugar, and flour until combined.
- Scrape down the sides of the bowl, then add the sweetened condensed milk and key lime juice. Continue to blend on low speed until well combined.
- Add the eggs one-at-a-time, beating slowly and scraping down the sides of the bowl after each addition.
- Pour the cheesecake batter into the prepared crust.
- Place the springform pan inside another large pan, and fill the outer pan with hot water (about halfway up the side of the springform pan).
- Bake for 70 minutes. Turn off the oven, but leave the door closed for another 30 minutes. Crack the oven door slightly for an additional 30 minutes to complete the cooling process.
- Remove the cheesecake from the oven and chill until firm (5-6 hours or overnight).
- For the curd: Combine all ingredients in the top of a double boiler.
- Heat over medium-low heat, whisking continuously, until mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon.
- Transfer to small container, cover top with plastic wrap, and chill until completely cooled and thickened.
- For the whipped cream: Add heavy cream, powdered sugar, and vanilla extract to a mixing bowl. Whip with a handheld mixer until stiff peaks form.
- For assembly: Spread cooled key lime curd on top of cheesecake. Serve with whipped cream as desired.