Lime-Almond Cheesecake

Two of my favorite flavors are combined in this cheesecake recipe: lime and almond. In this cake, the flavors are subtle, and simply add a great touch to my favorite dessert. You can add any topping to the cheesecake, but it's good on its own. The cheesecake will taste better if you can make it several days in advance.


Lime-Almond Cheesecake

Crust:
¼ lb. butter
2½ cups cinnamon graham crumbs
¼ cup sugar
1/8 tsp. ground cloves, optional
Cake:
2 lb. cream cheese
1½ cups sugar
1½ Tb. lime juice (or lemon juice)
Pinch salt
4 large eggs
Topping:
2 cups sour cream
¼ cup sugar
1 tsp. almond flavoring
Take a big square of foil, and set an empty 8 or 9 inch springform pan in the center. Fold the foil up the sides, so the entire bottom of the pan is wrapped. The trick with the foil doesn't help the cake bake, but it will catch the butter that leaks out of the crust, through the cracks in the bottom of the springform pan, and burns all over the bottom of your oven.

To make the crust, mix the graham cracker crumbs, butter, and sugar. Add 1/8 tsp. ground cloves to the crust, if desired. If you don't have cinnamon graham crackers, add about 1/2 tsp. cinnamon to the mix. Press the crust into the bottom and up the sides of a springform pan, pressing the crumbs all the way up to the top of the pan. This can be tricky the first few times you try it. It helps if you build the sides first, and then fill in the bottom last. Depending on the size of your pan, you may have to make the crust pretty thin.
Troubleshooting tip: If your crust keeps crumbling, and won't stay up on the sides, add a couple more tablespoons of melted butter, mix the crust up again, and try again.
Troubleshooting tip 2: If your graham cracker crust seems gummy and sticky, you should add more graham cracker crumbs, or the final product will turn out rock hard. It is occasionally a little tricky to find the right balance of moisture, because the moisture content of graham crackers changes with the weather.
Preheat oven to 350°. Mix cream cheese and sugar at a very low speed (or by hand) until smooth, scraping the sides and bottom of bowl to get all the lumps. Blend in lime juice and salt. Add eggs one at a time at low speed, scraping the bowl to ensure that the mixture is smooth. Do not beat the batter at a medium or high speed, or you will incorporate air into the batter, and your cake will sink in the middle as it cools.

Pour batter carefully into the crust, spreading the batter evenly. Hopefully, the batter will not quite fill the crust, and you will have some extra space for the topping.

Bake the cake for 50-70 minutes until it is not runny in the center. You can tell the cake is done by tapping the side of the pan. The center of the cheesecake should not shake like a jello, but should be set.  It doesn't have to be rock solid, but you should not see ripples when you tap the pan. Take the cake out of the oven and let stand 10 minutes. Leave the oven on 350°F.

Meanwhile, mix the sour cream, sugar, and almond for the topping. When the cake has been out of the oven for 10 minutes, add the topping. Scoop the topping onto the cheesecake, and spread it evenly over the warm cake. Return the cake to the oven and bake for 10 more minutes. At this point, you can add 10 more minutes if the cake still looks runny in the middle when you tap the pan. When the cake is finished, remove from oven to a wire rack.
Troubleshooting tip: If your cake turned out dry, you baked it too long. If it's runny in the center, it's still edible, but you needed to bake it longer.
Let the cake cool for about 2 minutes. (This is where I desperately try to make room in my fridge because I forgot to do it earlier. Also, I have to make sure it's not next to anything that will melt.) Cover the cake with a towel (like a terry cloth kitchen towel), and refrigerate immediately. The towel will absorb the condensing moisture from the cooling cake, thus keeping the crust from going soggy. Refrigerating the cake while it is still hot keeps it from cracking as it cools too slowly.

Several hours later, when the cake is completely cool (feel the bottom of the pan!), remove the towel and springform pan, and cover the cake with plastic wrap. I usually wash the springform pan ring and put it back on over the plastic to protect the cake in the fridge.

Theoretically, the cheesecake will keep for up to two weeks in the refrigerator. Our cheesecakes are always eaten long before the two weeks are up. The cake tastes better after a couple of days.

Mindy's Notes: The original name of the recipe is "Wonderful Lime-Almond Cheesecake," and it really is quite wonderful. If you can manage to keep the cake uneaten for 3-5 days, it definitely ages well, and tastes even better than when it is fresh. This was one of Allison's all-time favorites.

One time I added finely chopped almonds to the crust, and the cheesecake turned out even better than usual. You could experiment by adding any finely chopped nuts to the crust. I got that idea from the Raspberry Danish Dessert Recipe.

Comments

  1. What a gorgeous cheesecake! And a gorgeous girl!

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  2. THis is such a sweet picture of Allison! Thank you for sharing xoxoox

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  3. I have so many fun memories of eating your cheesecake. I agree, this combination is one of the best!

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