cheesecake

Are you guys sick of hearing me talk about the Bruins yet?  Perhaps you’ll allow me just one more day then I promise no more for at least a few months :) In case you missed it, last night the Bruins won Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Finals to bring the Cup back to Boston for the first time in 39 years! It was beyond exciting; I woke up today wondering if last night had really happened. This morning I’ve watched Chara lift the Cup over and over and over again on tv so I’m feeling pretty confident it wasn’t all just a dream.  I’m so happy for the guys, the organization and the fans – now I just need to work on convincing Shane to come to the victory parade on Saturday with me…

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I am bleary-eyed after staying up really late last night to watch postgame coverage hence the slow start today.  Since I didn’t quite finish the post I had planned for today (stay tuned, I will get it up tomorrow, and it’s a good one!) I dug into my backlog of drafts and found these mini lime cheesecakes I’d made for my friend’s birthday back in March and never shared.  I find I rarely have an occasion to make a full-size cheesecake, it’s just too much food unless I’m getting together with a huge group of family or friends.  Each of these minis, however, is the perfect size for two people to split for dessert.  In fact, I scaled this recipe back by 1/3 to make just 2 mini cheesecakes total – it was the perfect amount of birthday dessert for my friend and her husband to share, and they were definitely a hit.

cheesecake

The cheesecakes were smooth and creamy, and so easy to throw together.  I increased the lime zest and juice just slightly, using 1 full lime for my scaled back version of the recipe.  I heard the lime flavor was perfect so if you really like lime you may want to use 3 limes, instead of 2, for a full recipe.  I chose a strawberry sauce to top my cheesecakes – the sweet berries and tart lime are always a great combination in my book, and I think this dessert needed a little color to brighten things up.  Having the ability to now bake cheesecake in manageable portions like this could really spell trouble for me!

Lime Cheesecake with Strawberry Sauce
Cheesecake from Use Real Butter, via Annie’s Eats (originally from The Good Housekeeping Illustrated Book of Desserts)
Strawberry Sauce from The Sweet Melissa Baking Book

(You can make a 9-inch cheesecake using this recipe- just increase the baking time to 55-65 minutes.)

Crust
2 cups graham cracker crumbs
6 tablespoons sugar
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

Cheesecake
3 (8 oz.) packages cream cheese, at room temperature
1 cup sugar
3 large eggs, at room temperature
zest and juice of 2 limes

Strawberry Sauce
1 pint fresh strawberries, hulled and coarsely chopped
2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 tablespoons cold water

Preheat oven to 325 F.  In a medium bowl combine the graham cracker crumbs, sugar and butter.  Use a fork to toss together until the graham cracker crumbs are evenly moistened.  Divide and press into the bottom of the mini springform pans.  In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese on medium-high speed until smooth and fluffy.  Gradually mix in the sugar.  Add the eggs, one at a time, beating just until incorporated.  Mix in the lime juice and zest; give the batter one final stir with a rubber spatula.  Divide the filling evenly among the mini springform pans, pouring over the graham cracker crust.

Add enough hot water to a roasting pan to fill it halfway; place it on the bottom of the oven.  Bake the mini cheesecakes for 25-33 minutes, or until the center is just barely set.  Turn the oven off and use a wooden spoon to prop the over door open a few inches.  Leave the cheesecakes in the oven for 30 minutes before removing them and transferring to a wire rack.  Let cool for 10 minutes then remove the sides of the pans and continue to cool to room temperature.  Cover and refrigerate the cheesecakes for at least 8 hours.

To make the strawberry sauce: combine the strawberries, sugar, lemon juice and water in the bowl of a food processor.  Puree until the mixture is smooth.  Strain through a fine mesh sieve into a clean bowl to remove the seeds.  Taste and add additional sugar, if desired.  Refrigerate until ready to use.

Top the cheesecake with the strawberry sauce before serving.

Makes 6 mini (about 4-inch) cheesecakes