recipe remake: key lime cheesecake

Every year, I look forward to the holidays: the gathering of friends and extended family; the joyous festivities; the time to reminisce with loved ones; and, of course, the holiday meals. But as my own children grow and I consider my efforts for us all to live more healthfully, I’m making some modifications to my stand-by recipes to reflect that objective.

So here’s a variation of one of my favorite recipes by Wartburg’s Executive Chef, Kevince Etienne. This remake version of MINI KEY LIME CHEESECAKES reduces the amount of fat (with the use of the nonfat Greek yogurt). There’s still some sugar, but a lot less than you’d find in a cake or batch of cookies. And I think you’ll agree that these are a real treasure in taste and presentation!

Ingredients
For the crust:
• 6 full-sheets (90 grams) graham cracker (or ¾ cup graham cracker crumbs)
• 3 tablespoons (45 grams) unsalted butter, melted
• 2 tablespoons (25 grams) raw granulated sugar
For the key lime cheesecake filling:
• 12 ounces brick-style cream cheese, softened to room temperature
• ¼ cup (60 grams) plain nonfat Greek yogurt
• ½ cup (100 grams) white sugar
• 3 tablespoons (45 ml) key lime juice
• 1 tablespoon key lime zest (or regular lime zest)
• 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
• 1 drop green food dye
• 1 large egg, room temperature
• ½ teaspoon corn starch

Optional [decorative] topping: lime zest

Makes 12 mini cheesecakes

Instructions

To make the crust:
1. Preheat oven to 325 F. Spray each cavity of a 12-count mini cheesecake pan well with nonstick cooking spray and set aside. You may also use a regular 12-count muffin pan; I suggest lining each cavity with cupcakes liners for easier removal.
2. Add the graham crackers to a blender or food processor and process until you have fine crumbs. Scoop the crumbs into a mixing bowl, add the unsalted melted butter and raw granulated sugar, and mix until well combined. Evenly distribute the mixture between all 12 cavities in the mini cheesecake pan, making sure to press each one down firmly into an even layer. Bake at 325 F for 5 minutes, remove from the oven, and set aside to cool. Keep oven temperature at 325 F.

To make the cheesecake filling:
1. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or in a large mixing bowl using an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese until smooth. Add in the Greek yogurt and white sugar and mix until well combined. Add in the key lime juice, zest, vanilla extract, corn starch and green food dye and mix until fully combined, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Then, add in the egg and mix on low speed until just combined.
2. Evenly distribute the cheesecake filling between all 12 cavities of the pan and return to the oven. Bake at 325 F for 15-18 minutes or until the tops of the cheesecakes are set.
3. Remove from the oven and allow to cool at room temperature for at least 1 hour. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and transfer to the refrigerator to chill for at least 3-4 hours or overnight. Once the cheesecakes are chilled remove them from the pan, decorate with a sprinkling of lime zest, serve, and enjoy!

Notes
Fresh or bottled key lime juice both work well in this recipe, feel free to use whichever you like best.

Store mini cheesecakes in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 or 4 days.

Angela Ciminello

Angela Ciminello

Angela Ciminello is the Vice President of Development & Marketing at Wartburg, a senior residential and healthcare provider in Westchester County.
Angela Ciminello

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