Key Lime Cheesecake
Updated: Dec 15, 2019
When birthdays roll around many people start pondering what gifts to buy a person. I too, think about articles of clothing, gift cards, etc. that someone might find useful. But I’m also thinking, “What food can I shower them in for their birthday?” This process is attributed to my Nanna's teaching of food no matter the occasion and simply how my brain functions, birthday or not.
So my mental process took flight in the weeks leading up to my brother Zach’s 26th birthday (if you’re reading…HBD bro). I got fixated on a chocolate layer cake—one of his favorites—only to conclude that it’s such a heavy cake to serve mid-summertime. I mean don’t get me wrong, your girl here loves her chocolate all days of the year, but I pushed my search to create something lighter and brighter. And thus, a cheesecake came to mind. But a key lime pie, too. Oh dang, I’ll just combine the two.
Cheesecake is a rich dessert, so incorporating key limes to cut the creaminess was just what it needed for a summertime flare. The tangy flavor of lime cuts through the dense properties of the filling and adds a zing to the cheesecake party.
Hopefully you have a summertime birthday boy or girl to provide you an excuse to make this decadent cheesecake. If not, nobody’s judging if there’s no birthday on the horizon. May the inspiration found here, find light in your kitchen!
For the filling…
2 8-oz cream cheese, softened
1 cup sour cream
3/4 cup sugar
1/3 cup key lime* juice
2 tbsp. cornstarch
1 tbsp. lime zest
1/8 tsp. vanilla extract
For the crust…
2 packs plain graham crackers
1 stick butter, melted
1/2 tsp salt
For the whipped cream topping…
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 tsp. sugar
In a stand mixer, beat the softened cream cheese on high speed for about 1 minute. Then, add the eggs, sour cream, vanilla, and lime juice. Beat for another 2 minutes on a medium speed. Add the sugar, cornstarch, and lime zest and mix until evenly combined.
In a blender, grind up the 2 packs of graham crackers and add into a separate bowl. Pour the melted butter over the crumbs and add the pinch of salt. Evenly toss ingredients together.
Coat a springform pan with butter. Make sure the springform latch is locked before doing this! Put the crust mixture into the pan and press firmly into the bottom of the pan with a flat measuring cup (or any cup with a flat bottom). The crust should be evenly distributed throughout the bottom and up onto the sides of the pan. Get creative—the thicker the crust, the less you push up to the sides. And for a thinner crust, push the graham cracker mixture further up onto the sides.
Bake the crust at 350°F for 8 mins. Remove from the oven and let completely cool, at least 15 minutes. Once cooled, pour the filling into the pan. To avoid top from burning, place a loose layer of foil atop the pan. Place in oven at the same temperature (350°F) for 50 mins.
Place a clean stand mixer bowl in the freezer for about 10 minutes with the whisk. Remove from freezer and put the heavy whipping cream, vanilla, and sugar in bowl. Whip on high for about 5 minutes, or until cream stiffly holds to whisk. You've just made homemade whipped cream!
Cheesecake should hold firm when slightly shook in oven indicating it’s ready to come out.
Once cooled, chill cheesecake in refrigerator for at least 2 hours before eating. Garnish with pipped whipped cream, lime zest, fresh limes, and a crumbled graham cracker. Enjoy!
*If you cannot find key limes, regular limes will do the trick, They are just a bit less tangy.