Citrus desserts are my favorite in the summer, so I really couldn't imagine anything more perfect than a cold key lime cheesecake during another spell of 100+ degree days. I picked up some Nellie and Joe's concentrated key lime juice only because juicing those little buggers is a pain in the ass, plus it's the original so I gave myself a pass on my no premade products rule. A little bit of sweetened condensed milk will bring in the flavors of the traditional key lime pie while fresh key lime zest is a must for zingy fresh taste.
Normally I make my baby cheesecakes "naked" but I finally tried out the mini muffin pan paper liners and I will never go back! You can still use the two pan method to evenly pack down the graham cracker crust without crushing the liners.
Just 5 minutes for the crust and 12 minutes for the filling, this is a fast bake that would be perfect when you remember the night before an event you need to bring something! I chilled the cheesecakes overnight and then topped the tantalizingly tart baby cheesecakes with a lime scented whipped cream dollop.
Goodness, I missed baking . . .
Key Lime Baby Cheesecakes
1 package (about 8 crackers) of graham crackers
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons of melted butter
1 8oz block of cream cheese (room temp)
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup sweetened condensed milk
3-4 tablespoons of concentrated key lime juice
zest of 2 key limes (or 1 lime)
pinch of salt
Preheat the oven to 350 F. To make the crust, first pulse the graham crackers in the food processor until you have pretty fine crumbs. Pulse in the sugar and salt. In a separate bowl, combine the crumb mixture and the melted butter.
Add a teaspoon of crumbs in each mini muffin liner. Pat down by squishing the crumbs with a second mini muffin tin. Brush off any crumbs from the bottom and bake at 350 F for 5 minutes, until the crusts have just browned.
While the crusts are cooling, prepare the filling. Begin by creaming together the cream cheese and the sugar with an electric mixer. When combined, add the sweetened condensed milk. Add the concentrated key lime juice a pinch at a time, tasting to make sure it isn't too tart for your taste. I love tart so I added all 4 tablespoons!
Add the eggs one at a time then the lime zest and the salt. Pour into the baby crust almost to the top of the liners and then bake at 350 F for 12 minutes.
Let cool and then refrigerate for at least 4 hours before serving. I threw together a fast whipped cream with about a 1/4 cup of heavy cream, a light sprinkle of sugar, and a pinch of key lime zest. Serve up cold with a dollop of the whipped cream for the cutest summer treat! Enjoy!
**This post was featured in the Foodie Friends Friday Linky Party for July 20th**