Make this. Make this cheesecake soon. Today, if possible. But I suppose tomorrow will do as well.
As a lover of cheesecake in all it’s flavors and forms, this key lime version has completely stolen my heart. It’s downright incredible. Light and creamy and perfectly tangy, it solidifies the fact that while chocolate is my soulmate and first dessert of choice, there are a handful of non-chocolate desserts (this cheesecake and another creamy lime pie, in particular), that are so delicious, little ol’ dark chocolate should maybe start to look over its shoulder a bit more often.
On a sidenote, if you’ve ever been frustrated by making a cheesecake only to have it crack in the oven, you aren’t alone.
It’s widely known that the following two tips can help quite a bit with the cracking issue:
1) don’t overmix the batter especially after the eggs have been added (incorporating lots of air contributes to lots of cracks and we can’t be having that) and
2) use a water bath.
Except, I personally hate baking cheesecakes in water baths. I’ve had way too many soggy, wet crusts thanks to putting my precious cheesecake in a water bath and having the water leak through the 40 layers of meticulously crimped foil. How that happens, I don’t know, but it annoys me to no end, so I gave up on water baths a long time ago, and decided to live with a few cracks here and there, especially since many cheesecakes I love have toppings to cover any imperfections.
I know there are some clever methods online to combat water bath issues, but since I’ve declared myself anti-water bath and am too stubborn to change my mind, today, I have an even better way. All credit goes to my friend, Mel, who sent me this recipe. Her method is probably the most revolutionary thing to happen to cheesecakes this decade. And it’s so simple, you don’t have to worry about lining pans with foil, making sure you have a pan big enough to set the cheesecake in, worrying about water infiltrating your masterpiece, etc. I’ve used this more-steam-than-water-bath technique a couple times now and sure enough, no cracking. No cracking whatsoever. I’m sold.
So get to it! Make this luscious key lime cheesecake and delight in absolute cheesecake perfection – both looks and taste.
P.S. This is the 9-inch springform pan I have and love (bought it on Amazon in 2008 and it’s still going strong, many cheesecakes later).
One Year Ago: Grilled Asian Chicken with Peanut Noodles and Cucumber Sambal
Two Years Ago: Buttermilk Biscuits
Three Years Ago: Brown Sugar Crackle Cookies
Keep in mind this cheesecake needs to chill overnight so plan ahead.
Also, if you can't find key lime juice, the substitution in the ingredient list works great (2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice + 6 tablespoons fresh lime juice) using lime juice from every day Persian limes in the grocery store.
- 1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs (about 14 rectangle graham crackers, crushed)
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 6 tablespoons butter, melted
- 3 packages (24-ounces total) cream cheese, softened to room temperature
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- Zest from 1 lime, about 1-2 teaspoons
- 1/2 cup key lime juice OR 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice + 6 tablespoons fresh lime juice
- 3 large eggs
- 1 cup heavy whipping cream
- 1/4 cup powdered sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Limes or additional lime zest for garnish, optional
- Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F. Position the oven racks so one is just above the middle position and the other is in the bottom third of the oven. Lightly grease a 9-inch springform pan.
- In a medium bowl, stir together the graham cracker crumbs and sugar. Add the melted butter and mix until the graham cracker crumbs are evenly coated in sandy in texture. Press the mixture into the bottom and 1/2-inch or so up the sides of the prepared pan.
- Bake the crust for 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool while you prepare the filling.
- In a large bowl with an electric mixer (or in the bowl of an electric stand mixer), whip the cream cheese, sugar, cornstarch and lime zest together until smooth and creamy, 1-2 minutes, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Add the lime juice (or lemon + lime juice) and mix until combined. Add the eggs and mix until just combined (over mixing can cause the cheesecake to crack while baking thanks to all the extra air beat into the filling).
- Pour the cheesecake filling over the crust and spread evenly. Place a metal 9X13-inch or similar-sized pan on the bottom rack of the oven and pour in 2-3 cups of boiling water. Immediately place the cheesecake on the upper rack and bake for 50-65 minutes until the cheesecake is set around the edges. A slight jiggle in the center of the cheesecake is fine.
- Turn the oven off and prop the oven door open about 4 inches. Keep the cheesecake in the oven for 30 minutes. Remove and let cool completely.
- Refrigerate the cheesecake overnight.
- When ready to serve, whip together the cream, powdered sugar and vanilla until thick and creamy. Either spread the whipped cream evenly over the cheesecake or pipe it around the edges with a large star piping tip or just dollop a spoonful on each individual piece. Garnish with lime slices or lime zest, if desired.