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Key Lime Cheesecake



Crust:

1 cup (8 whole) cinnamon graham crackers
1 tablespoon sugar
5 tablespoons butter (melted)
1 tablespoon butter (melted separately)

Break graham crackers into rough pieces and process in food processor until uniformly fine. Add sugar and process just a little more. Pour graham cracker crumbs into a medium bowl and drizzle with melted butter. Using a fork, mix and incorporate melted butter throughout the graham cracker crumbs until the mixture resembles wet sand. Brush bottom of spring-form pan with melted butter. Transfer graham cracker mixture into spring-form pan and press into the bottom of the pan using a ramekin or metal measuring cup. Bake at 325ºF for 13-15 minutes. Allow to cool completely on cooling rack.


Cheesecake filling:

3 – 8 ounce packages cream cheese
1 1/3 cups sugar
3 eggs
¼ cup key lime juice
2 teaspoons vanilla

Cut cream cheese into cubes and let stand at room temperature while preparing crust. In stand mixer using paddle attachment, beat cream cheese until smooth. Scrape down bowl and paddle attachment. Add sugar and mix well; until fluffy. Again scrape down paddle and sides of bowl. Add eggs one at a time and mix in thoroughly between each addition scraping down bowl and paddle as well between additions. Add key lime juice and vanilla and mix until completely combined. Brush sides of spring-form pan with remaining melted butter (see above) and pour cheesecake mixture into pan. Bake at 300ºF for 45-60 minutes (I'm a little fuzzy on the time here as the original recipe I had said to bake at 350, but the outside got done faster than the inside at that temperature. I'd say go lower and longer, but I have not had a chance to test it yet.)


Topping:

2 cups sour cream
3 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla

Mix sour cream, sugar and vanilla together. (I just mix them together in the same bowl that I mixed the cheesecake mixture in.) Remove the cheesecake from the oven and increase the temperature to 350ºF. Spread the sour cream mixture on top and bake for another 10-15 minutes.


Glaze:

(Begin after cheesecake initially goes into the oven.)
3/4 cup water
1/3 cup key lime juice
1/2 teaspoon key lime zest (minced)(optional)
1 egg yolk
1/2 cup sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon butter

Combine water, lime juice, zest & yolk in small saucepan. Stir in sugar, cornstarch and salt. Bring to a boil over low heat, stirring constantly (about 10 minutes) until thickened. Add butter and stir until it melts. Remove from heat and cool for 20 minutes before spreading over cheesecake (will still be warm).

Let everything cool, then refrigerate.



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While the crust baked, I began zesting and juicing my Key Limes. It takes about 25 Key Limes to render 1 cup of juice (about 6 key limes = 1/4 cup) .


















As soon as the cheesecake went into the oven, I mixed the sour cream topping and began work on the glaze.












Allow everything to set up and cool while still in the spring-form pan and then refrigerate. When ready to serve, run a sharp paring knife around the edges to loosen and then carefully unmold the cheesecake.


Garnish with some thin slices of Key Limes and enjoy!