Lime Almond Cheesecake Pie

If you like cheesecake, but don't have a springform pan, this is the recipe for you. This is a real cheesecake, with the proportions cut to fit into a pre-made 10-inch graham cracker crust. This my very favorite cheesecake recipe, delicious plain, or with almost fruit topping, such as cherries, raspberries, etc. The cheesecake will taste better if you make it at least one day in advance

Lime-Almond Cheesecake

One 10-inch graham cracker crust (the "extra serving" size)
1-1/2 lb. cream cheese (three 8 oz boxes)
1 cup plus 2 Tb. sugar
1 Tb. lime juice (or lemon juice)
Pinch salt
3 large eggs
1 cup sour cream
2 Tb sugar
1/2 tsp. almond flavoring
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.
Tip: The pie crust pans for pre-made graham cracker crusts are flimsy. Bake the pie with a cookie sheet under it so your pie doesn't collapse when you pull it out of the oven.

Place the pie pan with the graham cracker crust on a cookie sheet. Pour in the filling, spreading evenly into the shell. Don't overfill the crust — keep the filling just below the top of the graham cracker sides. You want a little extra room for the topping to fit in, and the filling can run over and make a bit of a mess if you put too much in.

If you have extra filling, just pour the extra filling into a buttered custard dish and put it on the cookie sheet with the pie to bake.
Tip: If your store doesn't sell the larger 10-inch graham cracker crusts (9 oz instead of 6 oz), you can substitute an 8-inch crust, and use a buttered custard dish for the extra filling, or make some mini pies.
Bake the cake for 40 minutes until it is not runny in the center. You can tell the cake is done by tapping the side of the cookie sheet. The cake should be puffed up and the center of the cheesecake should not shake like a jello or look like liquid – you should not see ripples in the center when you tap the pan. Take the cake out of the oven and let it cool for 10 minutes. Leave the oven on 350°F.

Meanwhile, mix the sour cream, sugar, and almond for the topping. When the pie has been out of the oven for 10 minutes, add the topping. Scoop spoonfuls of the topping onto the cheesecake pie, and then spread it evenly over the warm filing. Return the pie to the oven and bake for 10 more minutes. When the pie 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 pie 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 pie with a towel (like a terry cloth kitchen towel), and refrigerate immediately. The towel will absorb the condensing moisture from the cooling pie, thus keeping the crust from going soggy. Refrigerating the pie while it is still hot keeps it from cracking as it cools too slowly.

Several hours later, when the pie is completely cool (feel the bottom of the pan!), remove the towel, and cover the cake with plastic wrap – or invert the plastic liner that came with the pie to create a cover.

Theoretically, the cheesecake pie will keep for up to two weeks in the refrigerator. The pie tastes good after it's thoroughly chilled, but tastes even better after curing for a couple of days.


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