Posts Tagged ‘Key lime’

Once upon a time…

The tartness grabs her taste buds and effervesces like teensy Pop Rocks on a wet tongue. When the first creamy bite of cheesecake hits her mouth, she’ll wonder if she even likes the combination of Key lime and blackberry.

Key lime blackberry cheesecake

She takes another bite.

Key lime blackberry cheesecake

She likes it enough to pile her fork with chunk after chunk and before she knows it, the tiny slice she “tried” is gone.

Key Lime Blackberry Cheesecake

Later that evening, she’ll be standing in front of the refrigerator with a clean fork.

Key lime blackberry cheesecake

A few months later, she’ll ask her sister when she is going to make Key lime blackberry cheesecake again.

Key lime cheesecake

But her sister will not know because her other sister requested turtle cheesecake a long, long time ago and more recently requested taco cheesecake. She’s just not sure which to make first.

She chooses to make taco cheesecake and everyone lives happily ever after.

Taco cheesecake

The end.


Key lime blackberry swirl cheesecake

This recipe makes one 9″ pan. I made one 6″ springform and four 6″ tart pans with this recipe. 


4 cups pretzels

1/2 cup packed brown sugar

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, melted


3 packages (8 ounces each) cream cheese, softened to room temperature

3/4 cup sugar

1/3 cup lime curd, stirred well to loosen it up

5 tablespoons sour cream, room temperature

5 teaspoons flour

1/2 cup Key lime juice

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

4 eggs, room temperature

1 egg yolk, room temperature

1 jar (10 ounces) seedless blackberry jam or preserves, stirred well to loosen it up

blackberries for serving with each piece

Make the crust:

Heat oven to 350 degrees. In a food processor combine pretzels, brown sugar, cinnamon, and butter.

If you don’t have a food processor, put pretzels in a plastic storage bag and bang with a heavy object like a can of soup to make fine crumbs. Combine everything in a bowl. 

Dump the mixture into a greased 9″ springform pan and press down with bottom of measuring cup. Bake 7 minutes. Remove from oven.

Make the filling:

In a large mixing bowl, beat cream cheese until creamy, making sure there are no lumps. Add sugar and beat until smooth. Whip in lime curd. Beat in sour cream and flour. At this point, make sure cheesecake filling is smooth because once you add the eggs, you don’t want to beat it vigorously.

Stir in Key lime juice and vanilla.

With mixer on low speed, beat in eggs and egg yolk, one at a time, scraping down the sides after each one.

Pour half the filling into crust. Drop teaspoons of blackberry jam randomly into filling, using three-fourths of jam. With a butter knife, gently swirl jam into batter without touching crust. Pour second half of filling into pan and drop teaspoons of jam into the batter, swirling gently with butter knife.

  • For 9″ springform bake at 350 degrees.
  • For 6″ springform bake at 325 degrees for 40-45 minutes.
  • For 6″ tart pans bake at 275 degrees for 28-33 minutes.

Remove from oven when center is slightly jiggly. It will continue to bake once removed. Cool to room temperature. Chill in fridge for 24 hours. Serve with blackberries.

Store leftovers in refrigerator up to one week or in freezer up to three months.

Also try Key Lime Cheesecake with Patrón Sauce and Key lime pie.

Sweet fairytale wishes,



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I gave Jason a choice for his belated birthday dessert—Key lime cheesecake with Patrón sauce or Key lime pie. He chose Key lime pie, but specified he wanted one with pretzel crust.

Key lime pie with pretzel crust

Heck if I’ve ever written down my recipe so it always takes me a while to figure out how to make it again. And then I worry that it’s not as good as last time.

Key lime pie

When it was done, I put the pie in the refrigerator and texted Jason that it would be ready to eat when he and Camden got back to our house that night. The next morning I noticed that there were only two pieces gone. Worried that the pie didn’t turn out, I questioned Jason like a cop busting up an underage party. The interrogation was unwarranted though, as he assured me they liked the pie but it was too sweet to eat huge slices at midnight.

Key lime pie

Crisis averted. So that I have the recipe for his next February birthday, here’s the recipe for our favorite Key lime pie—best savored one slice at a time.

For a lighter dessert perfect for Easter Sunday, make summer breeze lime pie from Midwest Living.

Key lime pie 


1-1/2 cups pretzel crumbs (approximately 4 cups pretzels)

1/2 cup brown sugar, firmly packed

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 cup butter, melted


2 cans (14 ounces each) sweetened condensed milk

6 egg yolks

1/2 cup Key lime juice

2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

1 tablespoon Key lime or lime zest

Whipped cream for topping, if desired

  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Combine pretzel crumbs, brown sugar, and cinnamon in a food processor. Add butter and pulse until combined. (Or mix crust ingredients in a bowl.)
  3. Lightly spray 9-inch pie plate. Drop the crust mix into the pan and firmly pat down evenly with the bottom of a measuring cup or the palm of your hand.
  4. Bake crust 7 minutes. Remove from oven. Turn oven down to 325 degrees.
  5. In the bowl of an electric stand mixer, pour in the sweetened condensed milk, egg yolks, Key lime juice, and vanilla extract. Beat on medium-high until mixed well.
  6. Stir in lime zest.
  7. Pour filling into crust.
  8. Bake at 325 degrees for 30 minutes or just until set.
  9. Cool to room temperature. Refrigerate for at least 3 hours before serving.
  10. Keep leftovers in refrigerator up to 4 days.

Sweet and sour birthday wishes,


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Call off the Department of Social Services. The kids don’t actually drink tequila in this story. For the third year in a row, I had the tremendous honor of making dessert for the East Central Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) Fire & Ice gala in Brookings, S.D. The fundraising event benefits children who have been victims of abuse and neglect.

The menu description for my Key Lime Cheesecake with Patrón Sauce: Like a margarita sitting in the sand, tart Key lime filling nestles into a graham and vanilla crust. The cheesecake is topped with whipped cream and served with juicy Key lime cream spiked with Patrón Silver 100% Blue Agave Tequila.

Key lime cheesecake with Patron Sauce

Two years ago for Fire & Ice I made raspberry white chocolate truffle cheesecakes, and last year I made Italian Tuxedo Parfaits stacked full of amaretto brownies, silky white chocolate cream and fresh strawberries. This year we went tropical and from what I could tell, these babies were a hit. It might have something to do with the pre-gala Bel Brands VIP Reception — it added an extra hour of wine drinking before the meal. *Wink. Wink*

On the other hand, how often do you eat cheesecake with a shot of juicy Key lime Patrón sauce drizzled over the top?

Shot of Patron Sauce

The sauce is simple to make — a sweet mix of sour cream, sugar, Key lime juice, lime zest, and tequila.

Patron sauce ingredients

People often ask me how I make baby cheesecakes. The cuteness comes from these Chicago Metallic pans

mini cheesecake pans

The first 50 or so didn’t turn out so well. I believe weather can sometimes affect your baking. This happened…

the ones that sunk

…because this happened on baking day:

April snow storm

So to ease my frustration, I went outside and took pictures of a female woodpecker that knocked herself into a no-fly zone after hitting her head on our French doors. The pesky robin kept photobombing the picture!

woodpecker with photobombing robin

And then I went back in the house and baked more than 260 beautiful baby cheesecakes.

I want to give a shout out to Mike, Ben, Chris, and Evan at the Hy-Vee grocery store in Brookings. Mike (not pictured) is the produce manager and for the last three years, he has hooked me up with fresh, juicy raspberries, strawberries, and Key limes for my Fire & Ice desserts. When I went to pick up my limes this year, Mike was gone and Chris, Evan, and Ben (pictured from left to right) made sure I had the best-looking bunch of Key limes. So I took their picture – the best looking bunch in the produce section. You know the tune, “Where there’s a helpful smile in every aisle.”

Chris Evan and Ben at HyVee

I had so many limes leftover that we ate Lime Chicken Street Tacos for a few days and now we’re crunching through a batch of our favorite Chicken Black Bean Salsa.

Thank you also to the Brookings High School Honor Society and the event staff from SDSU Catering. The kitchen was a harmonious frenzy that night and you helped pull off the dessert presentation and service with swift and gracious style.

Lastly but most importantly, to Julie Wermers, Executive Director East Central CASA, and Darilyn Odegaard, President East Central CASA, and to the East Central CASA Board of Directors, staff, volunteers and Fire & Ice committee — thank you for giving a voice to children who would otherwise be unheard, and for giving them hope for the future.

Save the date for 2014

Key Lime Cheesecake with Patrón Sauce

A 9-inch springform pan will give you 12 slices. If you are using the mini cheesecake pans, this recipe will make 24 babies. 


3/4 cup vanilla wafer crumbs

3/4 cup graham cracker crumbs

3 tablespoons sugar

5 tablespoons butter, melted


3 packages (8 ounces each) cream cheese, softened to room temperature

3/4 cup sugar

5 tablespoons sour cream

5 teaspoons flour

4 eggs, room temperature

1 egg yolk, room temperature

1/2 cup frozen limeade concentrate, thawed to room temperature

1/3 cup Key lime juice, either fresh or bottled – I use Nellie and Joe’s

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Key limes for garnish

whipped cream for garnish

Key Lime Patrón Sauce

1 cup sour cream

1 tablespoon sugar

2 tablespoons Key lime juice

1 teaspoon lime zest

1 to 2 teaspoons Patrón Silver 100% Blue Agave Tequila, or tequila of your choice (optional)

Preheat oven to 350°. Mix crushed wafer and graham cracker crumbs with sugar and melted butter. Stir until well combined. Spray a 9-inch springform pan or two mini cheesecake pans. Press crust evenly into pan(s). For 9-inch pan, bake for 10 minutes. For mini cheesecake pans, bake 5 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool.

If you are using mini cheesecake pans, reduce the oven temperature to 250°.

In a large mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese until soft and smooth, making sure there are no lumps. Add the sugar and sour cream, beating until smooth. Beat in the flour. At this point, make sure the cheesecake filling is smooth because once you add the eggs, you don’t want to beat it too hard.

With the mixer on low speed, beat in the eggs and egg yolk, one at a time, scraping down the sides after each one.

Add the limeade concentrate, Key lime juice, and vanilla. Mix well.

Pour the filling into the cheesecake pan(s).

For 9-inch cheesecake: bake at 350° for 15 minutes and then turn the heat down to 200° and bake for another 60-70 minutes. The center should be a little jiggly, but it shouldn’t look wet.

For mini cheesecakes: bake at 250° for approximately 25 minutes or until the tops just begin to look done.

For all cheesecakes, cool on wire rack for at least 1- 1/2 hours. Place in refrigerator in the pan. After a few hours, you can remove the cheesecake from the pan and cut into slices but it should chill again in the refrigerator for at least 12 hours for the best flavor. Cheesecake is actually best a couple days after it’s made. When ready to serve, remove from the refrigerator about 1/2 an hour before eating.

Serve with tequila sauce on the side or drizzled over the top. To make the sauce, simply stir together the sour cream, sugar, Key lime juice, lime zest, and tequila. Top with whipped cream and tiny slices of Key limes. They are even prettier with a little lime zest sprinkled over the top. You can find the 1-ounce shot glasses at most party supply stores.

Store any leftovers in the refrigerator for up to two weeks. Cheesecake can also be frozen for up to three months. Thaw in the refrigerator a day or two before serving.

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Ah, summer time. That’s when you want to make this chilled, no-bake summer pie. The filling is light and fluffy with the perfect sourness of tart lime. When you bite into the pie, the salty crust balances out the sweetness.

The creamy filling uses lime curd, cream cheese, whipping cream, powdered sugar, lime zest, and lime juice. That’s why it’s great for spring and summer. For fall and winter, my favorite Key Lime pie is the kind you bake with sweetened condensed milk and eggs. Problem is, I can’t find the recipe right now.

A few months ago, I was looking for a Key Lime pie recipe that uses lime curd but I couldn’t find one. Last weekend, I was going through piles of recipes and magazines in my office and found this one in a Midwest Living magazine from June 2005. (It’s not Key Lime, but you can use Key Limes if you want. I’ve never been able to tell the difference anyway.) It’s on my blog and Pinterest board now so I’ll know where to find it next time.

Summer Breeze Lime Pie from Midwest Living 

Now, if I can just find my “winter” Key Lime Pie recipe before November…

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