Key limes are wonderful for citrus flavored desserts, given their flavor packs a meaner punch than the regular limes sold at the grocery store. That flavor is especially great when fresh, which is the way to go with any recipe including this one. It's a no-bake style key lime cheesecake. Fast, simple and full of that great citrus flavor.

For this recipe, you will need at least twelve key limes for the batter and one more for the whipped cream topping. Although bottled key lime juice is all right, especially during a hassle, it's processing doesn't retain that authentic flavor and anyone can tell the difference.

Therefore, it is highly recommended.

The recipe

Crust ingredients

  • 8 oz graham crackers, crushed
  • 4 oz unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • Extra butter for greasing pan

Batter ingredients

  • 16 oz cream cheese, softened
  • 4 oz caster sugar
  • 1 key lime or lime, zested
  • 12 key limes, squeezed
  • 8 oz heavy cream

Whipped cream ingredients

  • 1 cup heavy cream, cold
  • Juice from 1/2 key lime
  • 2 tbsp powdered sugar

The directions

  1. Remove the cream cheese from its wrappings or containers and leave out room temperature to soften for 15 minutes. Melt the butter in a saucepan over low heat.
  2. Break the graham crackers in hand. Grind the crush crackers and brown sugar in a food processor until fine. Drizzle in the melted butter during grinding and continue grinding until combined.
  3. Rub the extra butter around the insides of a 9" round springform pan. Press the crust mix onto the bottom of the pan and reserve enough to cover the sides to up to 2 inches. Use a measuring cup with a handle to smooth the surfaces of the crust. Chill in the freezer for 15 minutes before filling.
  4. Beat the cream cheese and sugar together with the electric mixer until smooth. Zest one of the key limes. Squeeze 12 of the key limes, straining the juice of all of the seeds. Beat the zest and juice into the batter until fully incorporated.
  5. Beat the heavy cream in a bowl over an ice bath until the batter forms stiff peaks. Do not over beat or it will turn into butter. Fold the whipped cream into the batter. Save the bowl and ice bath for the whipped cream.
  6. Fill the pan with the batter and smooth down the surface with a rubber spatula. Refrigerate.
  7. Beat another cup of heavy cream in the bowl over the ice bath until it forms soft peaks. Cut the remaining key lime in half and squeeze the juice into a cup, straining the seeds. Add the juice and the powdered sugar to the whipped cream and beat until it forms stiff peaks. Transfer to a bowl, seal with plastic wrap and refrigerate.
  8. Place the springform pan on a flat surface and run a sharp knife around the inner ring before lifting it straight up to free the cheesecake.
  9. Make a circle of swirled mounds on top of the cheesecake out of the whipped cream using a piping bag fitted with a star-shaped tip. Or simply dollop the whipped cream on each slice when serving.

Serves: 8-10 slices

If you enjoy that recipe and want more like this one, check out this one for simple key lime pie. If you're not into key limes, then try this recipe for a marble cheesecake instead.