This month for the crazy cooking challenge, we had to find a recipe for cheesecake. I will be the first to tell you that this, by far, is my favorite dessert ever. There is just something about a creamy cheesecake that makes my mouth water!
When I started browsing for cheesecake recipes, I came upon a copycat recipe for the Cheesecake Factory’s Key Lime Cheesecake and I knew this would be the one that I would make.
- 5 tablespoons butter, melted
- 2 tablespoons sugar, plus 1¼ cups, plus ¼ cup
- 1 cup graham cracker crumbs
- 1 envelope unflavored gelatin
- ¾ cup key lime juice
- 4 eggs, at room temperature
- 2 egg yolks, at room temperature
- 2 tablespoons grated key lime zest
- 1 pound cream cheese, at room temperature
- 2 egg whites, at room temperature
- Pinch of salt
- 1 cup simple syrup, (1 cup sugar, 1 cup water heated until sugar dissolves)
- Rind of 2 limes, julienned
- In a large bowl, combine the melted butter, 2 tablespoons of the sugar and graham cracker crumbs. Mix well. Press the crust firmly over the bottom of a 9-inch spring form pan. Set aside.
- In a pan dissolve the gelatin and the key lime juice, about 4-5 minutes. Add 1¼ cups of the sugar, eggs, egg yolks, and lime zest. Mix well.
- Over medium heat, cook until the mixture thickens and is pudding like, about 10 minutes. Remove from the heat.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese until smooth. With the mixer running, add the lime mixture slowly and beat until smooth. Remove the mixture and put into another bowl and cool completely. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until chilled, stirring every 10 minutes.
- In a bowl of an stand mixer with a whip attachment, place the egg whites, pinch of salt and remaining ¼ cup of the sugar. Whip on medium high until stiff peaks form. Remove the lime and cheese mixture from the refrigerator. Fold the egg whites into the lime mixture and blend thoroughly. Be careful not to break it up. Pour the mixture into the prepared crust. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until set, about 4 hours.
- The plastic wrap will keep it from forming a film over the cheesecake.
- Remove from the refrigerator. Run a sharp knife along the sides of the pan and remove the spring-form.
- For the candied zest: In a saucepan over medium heat, combine the simple syrup and the lime zest. Bring the liquid to a simmer and cook for 3 to 4 minutes. Remove the zest from the liquid and cool on parchment paper.
- Cut the cake into individual servings. Garnish with candied lime zest
This month’s Improv Challenge was to create a recipe using pumpkin and cream cheese. Before I even made this dish, I had it in mind. I still have tons of pumpkin puree left from my 10 pumpkins that I harvested from our garden this year and finding recipes to use it in has been fun!
I found a recipe at this website describing exactly what I wanted to do!
The smooth flavor of the cream cheese and the smoky taste of the pumpkin combine together to really bring home a taste of fall flavors in your mouth.
be sure and visit the link above to view the original recipe.
- 5 graham cracker sheets
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 2 Tablespoons sugar
- 4 Tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- Cheesecake Mixture
- 2 blocks of cream cheese
- 2/3 cup sugar
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- 2 eggs, lightly beaten
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- Pumpkin Mixture
- 1/3 cup pumpkin puree
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 2 Tablespoons + 1/4 teaspoon all purpose flour
- Preheat oven to 300 degrees F. Line a cupcake pan with cupcake liners. Set aside
- In a food processor, grind up the graham cracker sheets into fine crumbs.
- Place the graham cracker crumbs in a bowl. Add in the ground cinnamon and sugar.
- Melt the butter and add it to the graham cracker crumbs.
- Put a small scoop of the graham cracker crumb mixture in the bottom of each cupcake liner. Press down the crumbs with your hand. Set aside.
- Mix the cream cheese together until all the lumps have disappeared.
- Add in the sugar and vanilla extract. Mix until just combined.
- In a separate bowl, beat the eggs and slowly add them to the cream cheese mixture. Add in the sour cream and mix until the cheesecake mixture is smooth.
- To make the pumpkin mixture, combine the pumpkin puree, ground cinnamon and ground nutmeg and flour.
- Add 2/3 cup of the cheesecake mixture to the pumpkin mixture. Stir with a spatula until the two batters are completely combined and there are no lumps.
- Fill each cupcake liner with enough batter to almost fill the top. Leave room for the pumpkin mixture.
- Place a small amount of the pumpkin mixture on top of the cheesecake mixture. Use a toothpick to swirl the two batters.
- Bake the Mini Pumpkin Swirl Cheesecakes for about 27-30 minutes at 300 degrees F.
- Once the cheesecake are done baking, cool them completely in the refrigerator overnight.
This is my first month joining the Improv Cooking Challenge. What is it you ask? Sheryl at Lady Behind the Curtain chooses 2 ingredients and then you have to create a dish using those two ingredients. This month, we are talking caramel and apples! Check out what I made
I love blessing people with my cooking. Anytime I can bake something for a friend or loved one, I am in the kitchen going to town! This cheesecake was made for a friend of ours who loves caramel and apples.
Normally he asks for my Butterfinger cake, but this year he wanted something different–he requested a Caramel Apple Cheesecake. . .and that is exactly what he got!
Here is the recipe:
1 (21-ounce) can apple pie filling
1 (9-inch) graham cracker crust
2 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, at room temperature
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup caramel topping
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Reserve 3/4 cup of the apple filling; set aside. Spoon the remaining filling into the crust. Beat together the cream cheese, sugar, and vanilla until smooth. Add the eggs and mix well. Pour this over the pie filling.
Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until the center of the cake is set. Cool to room temperature.
Mix the reserved pie filling and caramel topping in a small saucepan and heat for about 1 minute, or until spreadable. Spoon the apple-caramel mixture over the top of the cheesecake and spread evenly. Refrigerate the cake until ready to serve.
Check out the Improv Cooking Challenge to get yourself involved in a great way to learn to cook with new ingredients!
It’s funny because she used to fix just one, and we would ALWAYS fight over it, so she started making two. You gotta love the woman who always made your favorite dessert. Since mom passed away a couple of years ago, I was not for sure how in the world I was going to get my favorite dessert. So I started looking until I FINALLY found the recipe. Now I make it about four times a year. I have passed the love of old fashioned cherry cheesecake on to my sweet daughter who loves it as much as her mom!
This post has been linked to Tempt My Tummy Tuesday over at Blessed with Grace.