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December 2006 Issue
Graham Crackers
by J. Sinclair
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Key Lime Cheesecake

  • 3 cups graham cracker crumbs
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 2/3 cup butter, melted
  • 1 cup fresh lime juice
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 envelopes unflavored gelatin
  • 1-1/2 cups sugar
  • 5 eggs, slightly beaten
  • 2 teaspoons grated lime rind
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, at room temperature
  • 2 packages (8 ounces each) cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream, chilled
  • Whipped cream for garnish (optional)
  • Lime slices for garnish (optional)
To prepare the crust, stir the crumbs, sugar and melted butter in a medium-size bowl. Press the mixture over the bottom and up the sides of a 9-inch springform pan.

To prepare the filling, combine the lime juice and water in a small saucepan; sprinkle the gelatin over the top. Let the mixture stand for 5 minutes to soften. Stir the sugar, eggs and lime rind into the pan. Cook, stirring, over medium heat until almost boiling, about 7 minutes or until an instant-read thermometer registers 160 degrees F.; do not boil. Remove from the heat.

Beat the butter and cream cheese in a large bowl until well mixed, about 1 minute. Gradually beat in the lime mixture until well blended. Refrigerate, stirring occasionally, until the mixture thickens enough to mound slightly when dropped from a spoon, about 45 minutes.

Beat the chilled cream in a small chilled bowl until stiff peaks form. Fold into the lime mixture. Pour into a prepared crust. Cover; refrigerate until firm, 3 to 4 hours.

Run a thin knife around inside of the pan to the loosen sides; remove the sides of the pan. Garnish with whipped cream and lime slices if desired. Store in the refrigerator.

Note: For authentic Key lime flavor, use Key limes, which are more aromatic and citrusy than the commonly available, larger Persian limes.

  • Yields: 16 servings
  • Preparation Time: about 6 hours
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