KEY LIME CHEESECAKE
If you love Key Lime pie, you’ll love this cheesecake! It’s made with real Key Lime juice, and the flavors just melt in your mouth. It’s cool, and creamy, and just delicious. This would be perfect to serve anytime. It’s got a thick graham cracker crust, that’s sweet and crunchy, and it’s really a stunning dessert with the gorgeous color contrasts. Trust me, everyone is going to love this one, so put it in your favorites.
HERE’S WHAT YOU NEED:
FOR THE CRUST:
1 sleeve of graham crackers
1 Tablespoon of sugar
3/4 of a stick of butter – melted
FOR THE CHEESECAKE:
3 – 8 ounce packages of cream cheese – softened
1/2 cup of Nellie and Joe’s Key Lime Juice
1 can of Eagle Brand Sweetened Condensed Milk
1 cup of powdered sugar
1 small package of Cheesecake flavor Instant Pudding
1/4 cup of Milk
Lime colored – food coloring gelGreen food coloring gel
5 – 6 Key Limes – if available – or – 5 or 6 regular limes
1 cup of sugar – placed in a shallow dish
1 can of prepared frosting – to pipe
Lime colored sprinkle mix – sprinkles of choice
COOKS TOOLS NEEDED:
Spring-form pan – 7 inch
Large star tip – to pipe frosting
Lime colored Sprinkle Mix
HERE’S WHAT YOU DO:First, line a 7 inch Spring-form pan with parchment paper, and set aside. In the blender, or food processor, place the graham crackers, and sugar, and blend until coarse crumbs form. Pour crumbs into a bowl, and pour melted butter on crumbs. Stir well to coat crumbs in butter. Pour crumbs into Spring-form pan, and press evenly to form crust. Place pan in the freezer.
Slice 2 or 3 of the limes in thin slices, and lay slices on paper towels for a few minutes, to drain excess juice. Remove crust from freezer, and place a bowl, smaller than the Spring-form pan, in the middle of the Spring-form pan. Dip Lime slices in sugar, on both sides, and place slices along the outside of the Spring-form pan, between the pan and the dish – see photo. Place the Spring-form pan back in the freezer.
In the mixing bowl of a stand mixer, place the softened cream cheese, Key Lime juice, sweetened condensed milk, and powdered sugar, and mix on low until all ingredients are blended. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, and add the Cheesecake flavor Instant Pudding, milk, and mix again until completely blended, thick and fluffy. Place 1/3 of the cheesecake batter in a separate bowl, and place the bowl in the refrigerator. In the mixing bowl, add several drops of Lime food coloring gel, and a couple of drops of green food coloring gel. Continue to add a drop or two at a time, until you reach the color desired. Remove the Spring-form pan from the freezer, and remove the bowl in the center. Make sure the limes are pressed against the outside of the pan. Pour half of the lime green colored cheesecake batter into the pan. Place the pan back in the freezer, for at least four hours. Place the remaining lime colored cheesecake batter in the mixing bowl, in the refrigerator. After four hours, remove the Spring-form pan from the freezer, and pour the white cheesecake batter in the Spring-form pan, on top of the lime colored layer. Place the pan back in the freezer for 3 hour. Remove the pan from the freezer, and pour the remaining lime colored batter on top of the white batter layer, forming the top layer of the cheesecake. Place the pan back in the freezer, and leave it overnight for best results.
Before serving the cheesecake remove the pan from the freezer, and remove the outside of the Spring-form pan. Place the Frosting in a pastry bag with a large star tip, and pipe the frosting on the top of the cheesecake in a swirly ribbon around the edge of the cheesecake. (You can also pipe large dollops of frosting around the edge if you prefer). Sprinkle with a Lime green sprinkle mix. Cut the remaining limes in slices, and cut the slices in half. Place the half slices around the top of the cheesecake, in the frosting (see photo). Dip the remaining lime pieces in sugar, and serve on the side as a garnish. Serve, and Enjoy!
Makes 8 – 10 – 2 to 3 inch pieces – depending on how large or small the slices are.
NOTE: I could not get Key Limes, so I used regular Limes for the garnish. But, I used the Key Lime Juice – Nellie and Joe’s Key Lime Juice – for the cheesecake. Nellie and Joe’s is the closest thing to fresh squeezed Key Lime juice you can get without squeezing it yourself. If you’re not familiar with Key Limes, they are smaller than regular limes, not as green, and have a smoother, much less acidic flavor than regular limes do. You can’t just use regular limes for a Key Lime pie, or dessert, you will not get the same flavor. You should be able to find Nellie and Joe’s Key Lime Juice on the baking isle of most grocery stores. If you can’t find it in a local store, you can purchase it online. Once you open it, it must be kept refrigerated, which means, you can use it again and again, and make any Key Lime recipe you choose.