Key Lime Cheesecake: Freshly Squeezed

For our anniversary, my husband had one request: Key Lime Cheesecake. For his birthday a few months ago, it was New York-Style Blueberry Cheesecake, and for Thanksgiving he wants Pumpkin Cheesecake … are you noticing a theme here?  He always appreciates my efforts, so it is easy to oblige.

When it is a special occasion, I don’t take short cuts or simplify recipes, so I set my jaw and started zesting and juicing key limes (I suspect it is akin to milking mice).  Twenty-four petite globes later, there was the 2 tablespoons zest and 3/4 cup juice I needed—it was a citrus massacre.  Following the recipe precisely, I discovered it wasn’t necessarily precise and had a few questions, which were answered and included below.

Baked in advance, the crust includes brown sugar for a caramel flavor far superior to no-bake crusts.  This silky, citrus-kissed dessert is everything you imagine a Key Lime Cheesecake should be—tangy, dulcet, velvety, and refreshing—perfect for warm summer evenings or celebrating anniversaries.

Key Lime Cheesecake

Recipe adapted from One Perfect Bite
Serves 12   (plenty to share)
Crust
2/3      cup  butter — melted
1/4       cup  brown sugar — not packed
2 1/4   cups  graham cracker crumbs — 34-2″x2″ squares or 17 rectangles

Filling
1        envelope  unflavored gelatin
3/4    cup  key lime juice
4        whole  eggs — at room temperature
2        egg yolks — at room temperature
1 1/2  cups sugar — 1 1/4 cup for lime pudding; 1/4 cup for egg whites
2        tablespoons  key lime zest — grated fine; 10 limes produce 2 tbsp
1         pound  cream cheese — at room temperature
1         pinch  sea salt
2        egg whites — at room temperature
8 1/2 inch  springform pan
Optional: whipped cream

For the crust: Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 325° degrees. Process graham crackers in a food processor until fine; add brown sugar and pulse to incorporate. In medium bowl, add processed crumbs with melted butter and toss with fork until evenly moistened. Brush bottom and sides of springform pan with butter also. Empty crumbs into springform pan and press evenly into pan bottom and about an inch up the sides. Bake until fragrant and beginning to brown around edges, 8-10 minutes. Cool on wire rack while making filling.

For the filling: In a saucepan dissolve gelatin in key lime juice over medium heat, about 5 minutes, remove from heat and set aside. Combine 1-1/4 cups of sugar, eggs, egg yolks, lime zest, and pinch of salt in a separate bowl and mix well. Gradually add hot gelatin mixture, whisk to combine. Once all the gelatin and egg mixture is combined pour back into saucepan and cook over medium heat until mixture thickens and is pudding-like, about 7 to 8 minutes. Remove from heat.

With an electric mixer, beat cream cheese until smooth. While mixer is running, slowly add lime mixture and beat until smooth. Transfer to a large, chilled bowl, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until completely cooled, stirring every 10 minutes, for about 30-40 minutes.

In an electric mixer, whip egg whites and remaining 1/4 cup of the sugar on medium high until stiff peaks form. Remove cooled lime pudding from the refrigerator and gently fold egg whites into lime pudding until thoroughly blended. Pour filling into prepared crust. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until set, about 4 to 24 hours.

When ready to serve run a sharp knife along the side of the pan and remove the spring-form. Slice, cleaning knife between each slice, and serve with fresh whipped cream on top, if desired.

NOTE: 22-24 key limes will produce approximately 3/4 cup of juice, however, it is best to buy extra juice for the assurance you will have enough.  If you can buy key limes individually, buy the 10 you need for the zest and bottled key lime juice for the rest. 

Shared on the following Blog Hops:
Hearth & Soul Hop
EKat’s Kitchen Friday Potluck
Mom Trends Friday Food
The Saturday Evening Post

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22 responses to “Key Lime Cheesecake: Freshly Squeezed

  1. This looks good, real good! Thanks for not only the recipe but for including the number of graham crackers to use. It’s a small thing but i always seem to crumble too much. At least now I’ve got a fighting chance to get it right on the 1st try. 🙂

  2. I can’t believe you managed to blend my two favorite desserts into one! I have to try this!

  3. This looks wonderful. I am a huge cheesecake fan and key lime pie comes in second. What a great way to combine two of my favorites! Yummy! 🙂

  4. I luv it! Key limes are a pain to juice, but the payoff is worth it!

  5. What a great combination! It is really a strinkingly lovely pie too! when limes were on sale for .07 cents, I juiced, zested and froze the product in ice-cube trays, so it will cut down on the owrk of making this pie now. 🙂 Thanks for sharing your delicious recipe with the Hearth and Soul Hop.

  6. Mmmmmm, that cheese cake looks like another champ that can win you some more stuff

  7. That’s a fabulous cheesecake!

  8. what a delicious sounding cheese cake will add this to the try list for sure come see me at http://shopannies.blogspot.com

  9. Juicing key limes is such a tedious process! Last time I made key lime pie we didn’t even finish it because it was too strong…I think using your cheesecake recipe will change that! This looks perfect! 🙂 Visiting from Friday Potluck! I would love it if you stopped by my blog to say hi!

    Mandi at boredombustingmommy.blogspot.com

  10. I love what you said about juicing key limes – the picture of milking mice really made me smile! We don’t get proper key limes here in the UK, but I love your recipe. Thank you for sharing it with the Hearth and Soul hop. Your cheesecake looks like the perfect thing for a celebration. Hope you had a lovely anniversary!

  11. Pingback: Peanut Butter Pie ~ Tell Someone You Love Them: Feature Fridays | Savoring Today

  12. Oh, this looks so good, and refreshing. I can’t wait to try it. I linked to you from Make a Food E Friday. Thanks for a great recipe!

  13. The cheesecake looks divine, I can only imagine how good it tasted!

  14. Pingback: Featured Food Blog: Savoring Today | Yummly

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