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Recipe: Key Lime Cheesecake

Yesterday we had temps in the 40s. Children were outside throwing balls in their driveways, people were taking their dogs on much needed walks, and I drove home from work without the heat on. It felt like Spring. It was glorious.

This morning the temps are in the teens and all that snow meltage (it’s a word) resulted in more lovely ice. Oh yes, and we got a few more inches of snow. And it’s windy, really windy.

It’s always hard to gauge how much snow you got until you’re out in it. I peek out my bedroom window in the morning and check on the main road but it isn’t until Ben fires up the snowblower and makes the first pass that I can really tell the full extent. It looked like we got more than 4″ of snow – but my guess is that’s just the blowing and drifting making it look like so much. It’s mornings like this that I’m very happy to have my four wheel drive but I’ll admit I’m still that slow person driving 30 in a 45 zone driving you nuts. Sorry. 🙂

Last year (oh so long ago) I ate my very first piece of key lime cheesecake and it wowed my socks off. I loved the tart citrus flavor that felt decadent and yet somehow light too. It was heavenly.

So when I was in the grocery store and stumbled across a sale on limes, I couldn’t pass it up. It was time to experiment!!

 

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A little education on limes. Key limes (1oz) are much smaller than limes (3oz) and have a much more concentrated lime flavor. If you’re in the store and not sure if you’re looking at a lime or a key lime – a regular lime will be pretty much the same size as a lemon while your key lime will look more like a golf ball in size.

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Limes are also little nutritional powerhouses. They have a ton of vitamin C and also are a good source of potassium and vitamin B6. Plus, studies have shown key limes to be effective in combating cancer because the acid (limonin) works to increase liver enzymes that help with detoxifying carcinogens. Key limes are also supposedly great mosquito repellent – and while I bet that would smell great on you, my guess is it might be a bit sticky. Still – a genuine idea if you’re not a fan of that chemical-laden bug spray! Oh yeah, and key limes can help lower cholesterol as well. Quite a lot of valuable stuff for a tiny fruit that’s seldom recognized.

This cheesecake was actually my SuperBowl dessert. Matt and Ben are BOTH major cheesecake lovers so I thought this would be perfect. I tinkered a bit and the result was a light, tart, and utterly delicious (both sugar AND gluten free!) cheesecake.

Light & Airy Key Lime Cheesecake

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • 4T butter, melted

 

  • 3 8oz  packages cream cheese (room temp works best)
  • 4 eggs (room temp works best)
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1/4 c fresh key lime juice
  • 1/8 t grated lime zest
  • stevia (to taste, I used 3 droppers of liquid stevia)

Preheat your oven to 325. Spray your cheesecake pan with non-stick spray. Combine the melted butter and pecans and press into the bottom of the pan.

Juice your key limes. I’ll admit, this part takes the longest time. Those are small! A couple tricks to help:

  1. Microwaving the limes for 10-20 seconds will make the limes easier to juice.
  2. juicing the limes over a strainer will prevent those seeds from having to be fished out. I just used my tiny cheese grater. Worked like a charm!

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Mmm key limes make your kitchen smell amazing!

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Beat your cream cheese until fluffy. Add in the eggs, lime juice, zest, cream cheese and stevia. (Quick note: when I first tried this, I used 1/3c of key lime juice. That was too much. Ben likes more tart treats and enjoyed it but it made my lips pucker a bit too much. Instead, I’d reduce to 1/4c as my recipe indicates.)

I prefer stevia in baking when I can. You can buy liquid stevia at most grocery or health food stores now. I mix it in and do a quick taste and adjust as needed. Keep in mind the lime flavor intensifies as it cooks.

Pour the batter into your pan and cook for 70 minutes or until it springs back gently in the middle. Cool. Top with whipped cream and garnish with lime wedges!

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Both Matt and Ben gave this two thumbs up. I really loved the lightness of it. It felt more like a whipped cheesecake – not dense and heavy like so many are. I wonder if that’s because there isn’t 3/4 to 1 cup of sugar in it weighing it down?

If you’re not a stevia user, you could add sugar. I like covering the top in homemade whipped cream because it covers any cracks. You can also put your cheesecake in a water bath to help minimize cracks. Lower temps and even heat are the best combatants for cracking.

Happy Baking!

 

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9 Responses

  1. That looks so yummy!!!!!!

  2. That looks so decadent!

    I’d never had key lime cheesecake before. Then I met my boyfriend and he’s not a sweets kind of person but he LOVES key lime cheesecake and pie. He opened my eyes to deliciousness. 🙂

  3. Looks good and fresh!
    It was so icy outside this AM. And windy. And cold. I’m ready for Spring!

  4. John loooooves key lime pie, so I need to send him this link to make.

  5. Mmmm I am not a big cheesecake or key lime fan but Travis loves both… maybe if I’m feeling generous I’ll make it for him sometime! haha

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