Photos and Words by Rebecca Wheeler
So you’re in a pinch. It’s the night before Thanksgiving and you’re supposed to bring a dessert to the big feast tomorrow—Aunt Mary is already bringing her famous pumpkin and apple pies. You want to do something original but you have limited time and budget, so what do you do? Make Key Lime Cheesecake, of course.
The addition of citrus to a decadent classic provides a seasonal yet unexpected twist that will cleanse your guests' palates after a rich and hearty meal and simultaneously leave them speechless. Trust me, Aunt Mary’s pies don’t stand a chance. The tangy light taste and creamy texture are not the only things mind-boggling about this recipe; the entire process can be completed in an hour and a half with very little impact on your wallet! (Limes are only around 15 cents each right now!)
Show your families that there is more to the autumn harvest than apples and pumpkins and start a new tradition this Thanksgiving holiday!
Bex-Baked Key-Lime Cheesecake Recipe Adapted from recipe by The Cheesecake Factory
Ingredients For Crust:
1 ¾ cups crushed graham crackers 5 tablespoons (just under 1/3 cup) butter, melted 1 tablespoon sugar
Ingredients For Filling:
1 cup sugar 3 large eggs 1 teaspoon vanilla 3 packages of 8 oz. cream cheese (Philadelphia brand works well) ½ cup lime juice (about 3-4 limes)*
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.2. Combine graham cracker crumbs, 1 tablespoon sugar, and melted butter in a large bowl (mix until coated).3. Pour graham cracker mixture into pie pan so bottom and sides are thinly covered**4. Bake crust for 5 minutes.5. Meanwhile, combine remaining cup of sugar, cream cheese, and vanilla in a mixing bowl***6. Add lime juice and eggs, mix until smooth and creamy.7. Remove crust from oven and pour in filling.8. Bake for 60-70 minutes (often closer to 70) until slightly light brown and cracking around the edges.9. Remove and allow to cool for 20-25 minutes then add garnish of halved lime slices in center (optional).10. Refrigerate until firm, then serve.
A few quick tips:
*Try microwaving the limes for 30 seconds before juicing to maximize their yield. You can also make sure they're room temperature before starting the juicing process. ** Springform pans work best for this recipe—line bottom of pans with parchment to make releasing cheesecakes easy. Allow full cooling before releasing from the springform. ***Use room temperature cream cheese and introduce sugar a little at a time to avoid grittiness.