Saturday, August 4, 2007


I appreciate when one item can do multiple handy things instead of being a one-trick pony. For instance, my microplaner has become my zester! Sure, its nothing revolutionary, but it does keep me from having to find a place for two separate items. This last week my father and I were making dinner for some friends that were coming over to visit with me while I was in LA. I decided to make a Key Lime Cheesecake for dessert in an attempt to use items that just aren’t available in Indiana. I thought I was in luck since the store had a lovely 1 pound bag of key limes.

When I told my dad how much juice we needed for the recipe, he looked at the bag of limes and said, “This is going to take all f@#$ing day!” Cleverly, he reached for the garlic press and began juicing the limes in a quicker and much more efficient way than I would have. Not only did it render more juice than manual squeezing, but it kept all the seeds out of the juice as well. Two birds with one stone!

Unfortunately, I have been a stickler about purchasing a garlic press. I like to get involved with the food I make and feel like I can take more ownership of the meal when I chop and mince things by hand. This, certainly, only goes so far…though I have made Tabbouleh by hand before. It seems that this repurposing event is actually going to cause me to purchase an item rather than allow me to get rid of one. Alas, I will surely live.

Key Lime Cheesecake - courtesy of gourmet magazine

For crust
1 1/4 cups fine graham cracker crumbs (5 oz)

3 tablespoons sugar
1/2 stick (1/4 cup) unsalted butter, melted

For filling
2 (8-oz) packages cream cheese at room temperature
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
3/4 cup fresh Key lime juice (strained from about 1 1/2 lb Key limes) or bottled
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
2 1/2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 large eggs

For topping
2 large firm-ripe mangoes
1 tablespoon fresh Key lime juice (strained) or bottled
1/2 cup chilled heavy cream
1 tablespoon sugar

Special equipment: a 9- to 9 1/2-inch springform pan; a mandoline or other adjustable-blade slicer


Make crust:
Preheat oven to 350°F and butter bottom and side of springform pan.

Stir together crumbs, sugar, and butter in a bowl with a fork until combined well, then press evenly onto bottom and one-third up side of pan. Bake crust in middle of oven 8 minutes and cool in pan on a rack.

Make filling:
Reduce oven temperature to 325°F.

Beat cream cheese with an electric mixer at medium speed until fluffy, then beat in sugar. Add lime juice, sour cream, and vanilla and beat until smooth. Mix in flour and salt at low speed, scraping down side as needed, until just incorporated, then add eggs all at once and mix just until incorporated.

Pour filling into crust and set springform pan in a shallow baking pan. Bake cake in middle of oven until set in center, 1 hour to 1 hour and 10 minutes. Cool completely in springform pan on rack. (Cake will continue to set as it cools.)

Run a thin knife around edge of cake and remove side of pan. If desired, transfer cake with a large metal spatula to a serving plate.

Make topping:
Peel mangoes and, leaving fruit whole, slice very thinly lengthwise (slightly less than 1/8 inch thick) with mandoline (use caution — peeled mango is slippery). Halve wide slices lengthwise. Gently toss mango slices with lime juice.

Beat cream with sugar in a bowl with electric mixer until it just holds stiff peaks, then spread over top of cheesecake. Bending and curling mango slices, arrange them decoratively over cream.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

key lime is one of my favorite pies, but mangos and cream on top is definitely new to me...