Creamy Lime Cheesecake

 

 

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I have been making cheesecake for over 30 years.  It’s one my son David’s favorite desserts.  I have always put lemon juice and zest in my cheesecakes.  On my visits to see him when he lived in California, I would pick lemons from his neighbor’s yard (with permission, of course!).  Until I started using fresh lemons I would use bottled lemon juice.  That is a last resort now!

When my husband brought home a bag of limes last week, I thought I would make a cheesecake swapping out the lemon for lime.  Let me tell you, this tastes so good.  The lime really brightens up and enhances the cream cheese, just like lemons:)!  If you don’t already have a favorite cheesecake recipe, all you have to do is make this,  and your problem will be solved!  You’re welcome:)!!

Feel free to use lemons in place of the limes.  Both are equally delicious!!

Graham Cracker Crust Ingredients:

  • 9 graham crackers (one sleeve) finely crushed
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted (85 grams)
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar (50 grams)
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • Pinch of sea salt

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 325° F.   Wrap 8″-9″ springform pan with heavy aluminum foil and set aside.

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Place graham crackers in a food processor  (you can also do this in a plastic bag and a rolling pin).  Pulse until crackers are finely ground.

Transfer to a bowl and add melted butter, sugar, cinnamon and salt.  Stir until it comes together and resembles course sand.

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Press crumb mixture into the bottom and about an inch up the side of the pan.  I like to use a measuring cup to help with this process.  Place pan with crust mixture in the oven and bake for 15 minutes, then remove and allow to slightly cool.

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Ingredients for lime cheesecake:

  • 5- 8oz. blocks cream cheese (1130 grams),  softened to room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar (300 grams)
  • 1/2 cup sour cream (110 grams), room temperature
  • 5 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup lime juice (120 grams) -about 6 small limes
  • Zest of two small limes (about 2 teaspoons)
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

Instructions for cheesecake:

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Zest 2 limes and place in a small bowl until ready to use.

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Juice enough limes to get 1/2 cup of juice.  Set aside.

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Place softened cream cheese and sugar in a large mixing bowl.  Using the whisk attachment, mix on medium/high speed until smooth and creamy (about 3 minutes).  Scrape sides and whisk when needed.  This is a very important step to ensure your cheesecake is silky smooth (yummmm!).

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Look how smooth and creamy!!

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Add eggs one at time, mixing after each addition.

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Add sour cream, lime juice, vanilla extract and salt to cream cheese mixture.  Remove whisk attachment and replace with paddle.  Mix added ingredients until well combined.  You don’t want to whip too much air into the batter.  That could cause your cheesecake to crack in the baking process.

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This is what your batter will look like before adding the lime zest.

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Fold lime zest into the batter with a rubber spatula.  Making sure to scrape the bottom of the mixing bowl and distribute evenly.

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Look at that beautiful green zest!

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Place springform pan in a large roasting pan.  Place in oven and pour enough boiling water to come one inch up the side (be careful not to burn yourself in this process!).

Turn the oven temperature down to 300° F. and bake for one and a half hours.  Cake will be slightly jiggly in the center.  Turn oven off and leave cheesecake in the oven for another hour (prop oven door open with a wooden spoon).

After an hour, remove cheesecake from the oven and finish cooling on a rack (about 2 hours).  Leave springform on the pan.

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Discard aluminum foil from the sides of the pan.

 

After the cheesecake has completely cooled.  Cover and refrigerate overnight.

Remove from refrigerator when ready to serve.  Run a small spatula around the sides of the pan to make sure it doesn’t stick to the springform.

Garnish with sweetened whipped cream*, lime zest and lime wedges (optional).  Enjoy!!

*Whip one cup heavy whipping cream, 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract and 2 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar until it is the consistency for piping swirls on your cheesecake (or you can spoon it on, but piping swirls makes me feel fancy…wink wink).

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So pretty, right?!

This is sure to please any cheesecake lover out there.  It might even make a believer out of non-loving cheesecake people (is there even such a thing?!!).

I hope you make this creamy and delicious cheesecake, and if you do, please tag me on Instagram @goodeatsbymimi. I would love to see your pictures!

Berry Cherry Pie

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I love anything pie…hand pies, meringue pies.  I am particularly fond of fruit pies.  Every year my sister Kathy makes her famous (yes, it’s famous) apple pie for Thanksgiving dessert.  I start thinking about her apple pie as soon as Fall approaches. You know, when everyone starts getting excited about pumpkin spice and lattes?  I won’t be having her amazing apple pie until Thanksgiving, but I had this delicious berry cherry pie tonight…a la mode! Yum!! You don’t need to wait for a special occasion or holiday for this pie, make it today and have it for dessert tonight!!

Ingredients:

Pastry Dough
2 ½ cups (320g) all-purpose flour
1 cup (226g) unsalted butter, very cold, cut into small ¼ cubes
1 tsp. (6g) salt
2 tbsp (30g) sugar
6-8 tbsp ice cold water

Filling
4-5 cups (600-700g) frozen cherry berry blend (you can use any blend you like or any fresh fruit)
2/3 cup (135g) granulated sugar
1/4 cup (30g) cornstarch
¾ tsp cinnamon
1 tbsp (15ml) lemon juice
Zest of a lemon
2 tbsp (30g) unsalted butter, cut into small pieces

Egg Wash
1 tsp. water
1 egg, beaten
1 tbsp. (10g) sugar to sprinkle on pie crust before baking

Directions:

1. In a medium bowl whisk flour with sugar and salt. Incorporate butter using a pastry blender (or a food processor), until pea sized crumbs are formed. Add 2 tablespoons of water at a time just until dough comes together.  Put dough on your work service and knead just until dough comes together (do not overwork the dough).

2. Divide the dough into 2 pieces, form into two flat discs, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 2 hours.

3. Start preparing the filling by combining the sugar, cinnamon, cornstarch and lemon zest in small mixing bowl (set aside).

4. Place the berries in a large mixing bowl. Add the sugar mixture and lemon juice. Toss with a large spoon to combine.

5. Preheat oven to 400F . Prepare an 8 or 9 inch pie pan.

6. Roll the first half of dough until it’s about 12 inches in diameter and place in your pie pan. Cut the excess dough (leaving enough for crimping the edges.)

7. Arrange the berry mixture over the crust and top with butter.  Refrigerate until your lattice strips are ready.

8. Roll the other half of your pie dough. Cut into 10-12 strips (about 1-1/2 inches wide).

9. To create the lattice on top, begin by laying out 5 or 6 parallel strips of the pie dough on top of the filling, leaving about a ½” space between them. Fold back every other strip. Add a long strip perpendicular to the parallel strips. Unfold and repeat with the other parallel strips until the lattice is ready. Seal and crimp the edges.

10. Brush the pastry with the egg wash. Sprinkle a little granulated sugar on top.

11. Bake for 20 minutes at 400 degrees. Cover the edges of the crust and reduce oven temperature to 350F.  Bake for another 40-45 minutes.  I like to cover my crust edges with aluminum foil so they don’t burn.

12. Remove from the oven allow to cool  for at least 5 hours before cutting. I like my pie a la mode! Check out my vanilla ice cream recipe…Yum!!