08 July 2010

Key Lime Cheesecake

It's officially been summer for over two weeks now and it is HOT. I can't think of anything better than cooling down from a hot day with a slice of creamy, citrusy, freshly-chilled cheesecake.

I came across this recipe on epicurious.com months ago and it took a dear co-worker leaving, and me wanting to send her home with something special, for me to finally give it a try. Let me tell you, I am so glad that I did. This smooth, 3-layer, mouth-watering cheesecake recipe is going to be a staple in my dessert file from now on.


Lime custard
6 large egg yolks
3/4 cup sugar
6 tablespoons Key lime juice (I use a bottled version found at my local grocery store)

1 3/4 cups graham cracker crumbs (about 12 whole graham crackers)
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted

2 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, room temperature
2/3 cup plus 3 tablespoons sugar
2 large eggs
3 tablespoons Key lime juice

1 16-ounce container sour cream

Thin lime slices for garnish


For lime custard:
Whisk all ingredients in heavy small saucepan over medium heat until custard thickens and boils for 30 seconds, about 6-8 minutes. Cool to room temperature, stirring occasionally (mixture will thicken).

For crust:
Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter spring-form pan.* Stir first 3 ingredients to blend in medium bowl. Mix in butter until moistened. Press crumb mixture evenly onto bottom and 1 1/2 inches up sides of prepared pan. Bake just until set, about 5 minutes. Cool completely. Maintain oven temperature.

For filling:
Place cream cheese, 2/3 cup sugar, eggs, and lime juice, in mixer; blend well.

Spoon custard into crust; smooth top. Carefully spoon filling over. Set springform pan into a one-size-larger round cake pan. (Outside of spring-from pan can be covered in 3 layers of aluminum foil if this is not an option for you. The point is to protect the cheesecake from seeping water.) Set both pans into a larger baking pan. Add enough hot water to baking pan to come 1 inch up sides of cheesecake pan. Bake until almost set but not puffed and center moves slightly when pan is gently shaken, about 45 minutes.

Meanwhile, stir sour cream and remaining 3 tablespoons sugar in medium bowl to blend.

Carefully spoon sour cream mixture over hot cheesecake; smooth top. Bake until topping sets, about 10 minutes. Cool 10 minutes. Run knife around sides of pan to loosen. Cool cheesecake completely. Cover and refrigerate overnight. Do ahead Can be made 2 days ahead. Keep refrigerated. Release pan sides from cheesecake; transfer to platter. Garnish with lime slices and serve.

*I found that my crust sticks to my springform pan. In order to avoid this, I butter the bottom of the pan, add a circle of parchment paper to cover the bottom, and then follow instructions for crust. This way, the whole thing slides right off when you release the pan sides.


Tree Bird

Thank God eating and drinking are not only a necessity, but a pleasure!