Happy National Cheesecake Day! I had a request for a key lime cheesecake as a birthday cake this month. It was awesome! I combined a few recipes and used stabilized whipped cream to hold my piping. Stabilized whipped cream has a little unflavored gelatin mixed in to help it hold it's shape. You can use regular instead. Make this the day before you want to eat it!
Key Lime CheesecakeCrust
1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs (about 9 or 10 full cracker sheets)
2 TBSPs sugar
5 1/3 TBSPs unsalted butter, melted
3 packages cream cheese, softened to room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
2 TBSPs cornstarch
1/2 cup key lime juice (I use the bottled kind)
3 large eggs
Stabilized Whipped Cream
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1/4 cup powdered sugar
1 tsp unflavored gelatin
2 tsps water
Lime for garnish
1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Put the oven rack in the middle of the oven and the second rack below it. Place a 9x13 inch pan filled with 1 inch of HOT water in the oven on the bottom rack. Spray a 9 inch spring-form pan with cooking spray.
2. In a medium sized bowl mix the graham cracker crumbs, sugar, and salt. Add the butter and stir until evenly combined. Dump the crust mixture into the prepared pan and evenly press it down around the pan and about 1/2 inch up the sides.
3. Place 1 package of cream cheese, 1/3 cup sugar, and the cornstarch in a large mixing bowl and mix on low until creamy, scraping down the sides as needed. Add the remaining cream cheese, one package at a time, scraping down the bowl after each addition. Add remaining sugar and lime juice and mix on medium speed until blended, scraping down the bowl as needed. Blend in eggs, one at a time until completely blended, but do not overmix.
4. Pour the cheesecake filling onto the crust. Spread out evenly.
5. Bake on center rack for 1 hour until edges are set and only a slight jiggle in the middle.
6. Turn the oven off and open the door. Let cool in oven for 30 minutes. Then remove and let cool completely on wire rack. After it has cooled, cover the pan with plastic wrap and refrigerate until the next day.
7. To make whipped cream, combine the gelatin powder and water in a small microwave safe bowl. Once water has been fully soaked up by the gelatin, microwave the mixture for 15-20 seconds. It should become a thick, hot liquid. Stir well and let sit at room temp. While gelatin is cooling, beat whipping cream and powdered sugar in large mixing bowl on med-high speed with whisk attachment until soft peaks form. With mixer running, slowly pour in the room temp gelatin and continue to beat until stiff peaks form.
8. When you are ready to eat, pipe or spread the whipped cream on top, and garnish with lime zest and/or slices.
Keep covered and refrigerated