Archive for Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Fresh lime key flavor in cheesecake variation

September 5, 2007


If you don't have a thing for the flavor of fresh lime, then you needn't read any further. This week I'm indulging my lust for lime and offering a recipe that doesn't entertain the concept of moderation.

One of my favorite desserts is the key lime pie, and another is the basic cheesecake. For some time now, I've been hoping to find a reliable and straightforward recipe for a lime cheesecake that would combine the best characteristics of both desserts. But as I read what was available in cookbooks and online, I was unable to find a recipe that wasn't unnecessarily complicated.

Late this summer, I stumbled upon a sale: 12 Persian limes for a buck. I bought two dozen and used them for various summertime purposes, including developing a cheesecake recipe. The nice thing about limes is that if they're not long in the tooth when you buy them, they will keep a long time in the crisper drawer.

Many lime aficionados insist that key limes are the only way to go for pies and other desserts. Key limes are smaller and have a more concentrated tartness, but it is also a bit more difficult to find good ones in stores. For most recipes, traditional Persian limes will do.

The following recipe, which makes two 8-inch pies, can be halved. If you want to dial back the intensity of the lime flavor, add less zest. The glaze also contains lime; instead of this topping, you could use whipped cream for a more neutral flavor. If you do bypass the glaze, be sure to refrigerate the pie at least six hours before serving.

Use your favorite graham cracker or chocolate wafer crust with this recipe. If you are convinced that lime desserts must be green, add a couple of drops of food coloring to the batter.

For baking, the best bet is Philadelphia cream cheese. When making a cheesecake, be sure to let your cheese and eggs warm to room temperature before you try to combine them.

Lime Cheesecake

  • 2 pounds cream cheese
  • 6 well-beaten eggs
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Juice of 6 medium limes (about 1/2 cup)
  • 2 teaspoons lime zest

Prepare a graham cracker or wafer crust for two 8-inch pie pans. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

In a large mixing bowl, use a hand mixer to combine the cream cheese, eggs, sugar and salt. Slowly add the lime juice and zest, and mix on medium until thoroughly combined.

Pour the mixture into the pie crusts and bake approximately 25 minutes or until the edges of the pies are puffed up into a "tire" and have just begun to crack. Remove from the oven and cool.

Lime Cheesecake Glaze

  • 3 cups sour cream
  • 6 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • Juice of 4 medium limes (about 1/3 cup)
  • 2 teaspoons lime zest

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

In a mixing bowl, combine the sour cream, sugar and salt. Add the lime juice and zest, and combine thoroughly.

Pour the glaze over the cooled cheesecakes and return to the oven for five to seven minutes, or until the glaze just sets.

Remove from the oven and cool to room temperature. Refrigerate at least six hours before serving.

When she's not writing about foods and gardening, Gwyn Mellinger is teaching journalism at Baker University. Her phone number is (785) 594-4554.


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