Key Lime Cheesecake
Makes one 10-inch cake
1 1/2 pounds cream cheese, room temperature
1 1/2 tablespoons grated Key lime zest
1 tablespoon grated lemon zest
2 tablespoons rice flour or cornstarch
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup sweetened condensed milk
1/2 cup sour cream
1/4 cup Key lime juice
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
A 10-inch springform cake pan, lined with a pre-baked graham cracker crust
Key lime curd:
1 cup and 2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons grated Key lime zest
8 egg yolks
Pinch Fleur de Sel (or kosher salt)
1/2 vanilla bean
2/3 cup Key lime juice, room temperature
4 ounces (1 stick) butter, very soft
Lightly sweetened whipped cream
White chocolate shavings
1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
2. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat cream cheese, zests and rice flour until smooth. Add sugar and condensed milk; mix until creamy and smooth, scraping often.
3. Blend in sour cream. On lowest speed, add eggs two at a time, scraping bowl as needed. Add lime juice and vanilla extract.
4. Pour cheesecake filling into graham cracker shell. Bake until cheesecake is firm around the outer edges but still has slight movement in the center inch or so. Begin checking after 35 minutes. Let sit at room temperature while you make the lime curd.
5. Fill a large pot halfway with water. Find a stainless steel bowl that fits comfortably on top. Place a fine mesh strainer over a 3- or 4-cup stainless steel or glass bowl.
6. Place the 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar in the stainless steel bowl. Zest the limes over sugar to capture all the oils from the skin. Rub the zest into the sugar using the rounded side of a ladle or spoon. Rub sugar until fragrant and slightly green.
7. Whisk egg yolks, salt and vanilla bean, split in half, into the sugar-zest mixture. Add lime juice and set aside.
8. Bring water to a boil; reduce heat to barely simmering. Place bowl on top of pot and cook, whisking until the curd reaches 180 degrees on an instant-read thermometer. Do not curdle the eggs.
9. Remove bowl and whisk in the butter. Strain the curd into the reserved container and cool for 10 to 15 minutes before spreading it over the cheesecake as a topping. The curd should still be fluid for easy spreadability. (Any remaining curd can be stored in the refrigerator for up to a week. Cover the surface with plastic wrap to prevent a skin from forming.)
10. Chill cake overnight. Serve with whipped cream and chocolate shavings.
-- Patti Dellamonica-Bauler, pastry chef, One Market Restaurant