Cheesecake-Aganza Part 4: Key Lime Cheesecake

key-lime-cheesecake

Key limes have an intense lime citrus smell and a slightly bitter taste that speaks of exotic cocktails on the beach, under romantic sunsets, while the waves roll softly in the background…ahhhh!

sunsetCan this dreamy scene be recreated in a food, a cake, and a cheesecake no less?
Yes it can!

key limes mexico

This Key Lime Cheesecake can do just that. Its unique blend of bitter, sweet, tangy and tart in two creamy layers over a nutty crust is dreamy and delicious and will transport you to that special beach image you hold dear in your mind.

last layer after The Key Limes I used where from Mexico and I brought them back from a recent trip to the US, but you can use organic limes say from Brazil instead as the small key limes are often hard to find.

key lime juiceThe process to bake this cheesecake requires dedication as it involves several steps and in between waiting time to create the three layers and then you really should refrain from eating it until you have cooled it overnight in the fridge. So it’s a plan-ahead cheesecake to be made during a stay at home day, where you can accomplish other things but still find the time to return to the kitchen for the next step.

KL cheecake 3 layers It is well worth it and I will admit we are not always disciplined enough to await that overnight phase and this cheesecake delight is often almost gone before it hits the fridge. But hey as we like to say, whatever floats your boat.

lotus caramel biscuits

This cheesecake recipe really is my go-to recipe as the basics remain the same 3 steps (4 if you make lactose-free sweetened condensed milk) with varying crusts and filling as you can see in my previous Cheesecake-Aganza Posts 1-3 (find the links at the bottom of this post) also featuring a date-nut crust for a gluten-free variation, and such flavors as blood orange, blueberry or passion fruit.

creamcheese layerI find that all types of cookies and hard biscuits are well suited to making cheesecake crusts, feel free to experiment with your favorites and to vary the type of nuts, using those you prefer and that best suit the flavor of the cheesecake. In this case I chose macadamia nuts as their special flavor pairs very well with lime add a further bit of exotic flair.

crust ingredients

This recipe uses lactose-free ingredients for the sweetened condensed milk, butter, yoghurt and cream cheese, however feel free to use any type of cream cheese, yoghurt, butter or condensed milk according to your dietary requirements.

I hope this Key Lime Cheesecake brings some exotic flair into your life and that you will experiment with your own variations.

Cheesecake-Aganza Part 1: Blood Orange Cheesecake

Cheesecake-Aganza Part 2: Blueberry Cheesecake with Linzer Crust

Cheesecake-Aganza Part 3: Passion Fruit Cheesecake with a Vegan Crust

Key Lime Cheesecake

Ingredients

Crust

  • 150g cookie or sweet biscuit crumbs, I used caramel biscuits (1 1/2 cups)
  • 100g macadamia nuts (3/4 cup)
  • 2 kaffir lime leaves (crumbled & stem removed)
  • 1/2 teaspoon organic lime zest
  • 75g butter, melted (1/3 cup - I used lactose-free)

Cream cheese filling

  • 400g cream cheese (2 packages of 1 cup each - I used lactose-free)
  • 67g white sugar (3/4 cup)
  • 1 teaspoon organic lime zest
  • 3 eggs (at least M or L)
  • 120g plain yoghurt (1/2 cup - I used lactose-free)
  • 3 tablespoons fresh pressed lime juice (preferably key limes)
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 3 Grinds black pepper (optional)

Lactose-free sweetened condensed milk

  • 160ml lactose-free half-n-half or coffee cream (5.5 fl. oz.)
  • 64g white sugar (1/2 cup)

Top lime layer

  • 3 eggs (at least M or L)
  • 150ml sweetened condensed milk (5 fl. oz. I made my own lactose-free - see recipe step)
  • 80ml fresh pressed lime juice (1/3 cup - preferably key limes)
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 3 Grinds black pepper (optional)

Note

You will need about 10 key limes or 4 larger organic limes for this recipe.

Directions

Crust
Step 1
For the crust:
Note: This crust will remain soft even after being baked. If you prefer it less soft you can add the butter to the crumbs by hand rather than adding it to the food processor.
Step 2
Preheat the oven to 325 ° F / 170° C.

Place the cookies or biscuits or crumbs in a food processor. Add the nuts, the zest and the kaffir lime leaves. Whirl until mealy, add the melted butter and whirl again.


Step 3
Butter you cake tin, pie plate or dish 9’’, add the crumb crust and use you hands to carefully spread the crust over the bottom and make a small rim about 1/3 up the sides.

Bake in the oven for 10 minutes.– don’t worry if the rim shrinks a little. Remove and cool.
Cream cheese filling
Step 4
For the cheesecake filling layer:
Note: I prefer to mix this layer by hand to have more control. If you do use an electric mixer keep it on very low, do not overbeat the mixture.
Step 5
Turn up or preheat the oven to 350° F / 180° C – I used the convection setting so the moist air can circulate.

In a large mixing bowl beat the cream cheese and sugar until just smooth and then add the yoghurt, juice and zests, mixing to combine.
Now add the eggs one at a time, mixing just enough to combine after each one – don’t over beat or mix. Pour the filling carefully into the crust.
Step 6
Pour ca. 1 liter / 33 fl. oz into the dripping pan in the bottom of your oven.
Now place the cheesecake on a rack in the middle of the oven and bake for 45 minutes. Turn off the oven without opening the door and let the cake sit another 10 minutes. This helps the layer settle and not crack.

Remove the cheescake and cool.
Leave the remaining water in the dripping pan fort he next baking step.
Lactose-free sweetened condensed milk
Step 7
For the lactose-free sweetened condensed milk:
Note: If making your own lactose-free sweetened condensed milk this is your next step, if not you can skip this one and use canned sweetened condensed milk.
Step 8
Stir the cream and sugar in a small saucepan. Bring slowly to just boiling point, stirring in between. Lower heat and simmer for 4 minutes, stir frequently and then cool. Stir once more before using.
Top lime layer
Step 9
For the top lime layer:
In a bowl, beat the eggs and sweetened condensed milk until smooth. Add the lime juice, zest, salt and pepper if using and continue beating lightly until smooth.
Step 10
Using a large spoon, spoon the mixture carefully over the cooled cheescake taking care not to pierce the surface.
Smooth carefully and return to the 350° F / 180° C oven (with the water remaining in the dripping pan) and bake for a further 22 minutes.
Turn off the oven and let rest another maximum 10 minutes. This helps settle the layer.
Step 11
Remove and cool completely then refidgerate overnight.
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