The key to an extra creamy cheesecake? Curd. The thick and rich spread adds depth and flavor to the traditional cheesecake. Curd can be made with any type of citrus fruit, which was perfect for my lime cheesecake recipe.
For those of you who aren’t familiar with curd, it is a dessert spread and topping usually made with citrus fruit, such as lemon, lime, orange or tangerine, along with egg yolks. For my lime cheesecake recipe I used lime juice, sugar, egg yolks and full eggs to create a rich and creamy curd.
I have made cheesecake in the past (see my Lemon Blueberry Bars), but never with a curd. I must say it makes all the difference. The texture is unbelievably smooth and the lime creates an extra tartness. If you’re not a huge fan of lime, lemon can be used as a substitute easily.
Now, another unique ingredient in this lime cheesecake recipe? The graham cracker crust. It is not your typical graham cracker crust because it has pecans in it. It adds a subtle nutty flavor to each bite, which is a lovely counterpart to the tart lime flavor in the cheesecake.
Before I hand over the lime cheesecake recipe, I must say that the key to a perfectly baked cheesecake is making it in a water bath. Wrap the pan with aluminum foil on the bottom and up the sides of a springform pan. I usually do this before pre-baking the crust just so I don’t have to handle the pan with a baked crust inside of it. Then, place the cheesecake pan in a large roasting pan. Fill the cheesecake pan with filling. Pour hot (not boiling) water into the large roasting pan so it surrounds the springform pan and has a depth of about one and a half inches. This is an important step in making an evenly—and beautifully—baked cheesecake!
Lime Curd Cheesecake with Pecan Graham Cracker Crust
- 2 eggs
- 2 egg yolks
- 2/3 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup freshly squeezed lime juice
Graham Cracker Pecan Crust
- 1 1/2 cups graham cracker fine crumbs about 14 graham cracker sheets
- 1/2 cup 1 stick butter, melted
- 1/2 cup chopped pecans
- 2 packages 8 ounces each cream cheese, softened
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- 1 lime thinly sliced
Place fine strainer over medium glass bowl. Set aside.
In a heavy medium saucepan over medium-low heat, whisk together eggs, egg yolks, sugar and lime juice. Cook, whisking frequently, until no longer frothy, about 8 to 10 minutes (curd will resemble thickened sauce).
Pour curd into prepared strainer; discard solids in strainer. Place plastic wrap directly onto surface of curd and refrigerate until chilled, about 1 hour. (Make-ahead: Refrigerate for up to 1 day.)
Graham Cracker Pecan Crust
Preheat oven to 325° F.
To prepare the 8-1/2-inch springform pan, grease it with butter and set the pan on a large piece of aluminum foil. Press the foil up the sides of the pan, using another sheet of foil if necessary to make sure all the sides are covered.*
In a small bowl, stir together graham cracker crumbs, butter and pecans until crumbs are well moistened. Press onto bottom of the pan. Bake until firm, about 12 minutes. Let crust cool completely.
In a bowl of a standing mixer, beat cream cheese with sugar. Beat in eggs, 1 at a time. Next, using low speed, beat in lime curd and sour cream until well incorporated, about a minute. Pour mixture onto the cooled, baked graham cracker pecan crust. Smooth the top of the cheesecake filling.
Set the cake pan in a larger pan; pour in enough hot water to come 1 inch up the side.** Bake in the 325°F oven until set around edge and center is still jiggly, 1 hour. Run knife around edge of cake. Turn off oven; let stand in oven for 1 hour.
Transfer springform pan to rack and remove foil; let cool completely. Refrigerate until chilled, about 4 hours. (Make-ahead: Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for up to 3 days or overwrap with heavy-duty foil and freeze in airtight container for up to 2 weeks.) Garnish with lime slices.
* This step will ensure even baking and protect the cake when you set the cake pan in a larger, water-filled pan in the oven.
** I find it easier to pull your oven rack out, place the large pan onto the rack, place the cheesecake into the large pan, and then pour in the hot water.
Recipe inspired by cheesecake served at Hartwood restaurant in Tulum, Mexico; adapted from Canadian Living recipe.