This delicately flavor-balanced cheesecake is just the right combination of rich creaminess and bright zestiness. Each mouthful presents a medley of sweet, sour, cream, and lime, and envelops your mouth with that decadent richness for which cheesecake is notorious.
Key Lime Cheesecake
1 3/4cupsgraham cracker crumbs
1/2cupchopped white chocolate
3cupscream cheeseat room temperature
1/4cuplime juice powder*
freshly grated rind of 1 limezest, or 1/4 teaspoon lime oil
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly grease a 9" springform or push-bottom pan.
To make the crust: In a medium-sized mixing bowl, combine the crumbs, sugar, and butter. Press the mixture into the bottom and 1" up the sides of the prepared pan.
Bake the crust for 10 to 15 minutes, just until set. Remove it from the oven.
Reduce the oven temperature to 275°F.
To make the batter:
Combine the cream and white chocolate in a saucepan set over medium heat. Heat until the chocolate is melted, stirring until well blended. Set aside to cool to lukewarm.
In a large mixing bowl, slowly and gently beat the cream cheese until no lumps remain.
Add the sugar, salt, lime juice powder, and lime zest (or lime oil), mixing until evenly blended.
Stir in the eggs one at a time, scraping the bottom of the bowl after each addition.
Add the chocolate-cream mixture, stirring just until smooth.
Pour the batter into the crust and bake the cake for 60 to 75 minutes, until the center still jiggles slightly, and the temperature at the center of the cake is 165°F or above.
Turn the oven off, crack the door, and let the cheesecake cool in the oven for 1 hour.
Remove the cake from the oven, run a spatula around the top edge, and chill for several hours, or overnight, before serving.