Tangy and creamy, this cheesecake wakes your taste buds up and gives them a big hug!
1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs (1 1/2 sleeves)
3 tablespoons melted butter
12 ounce can frozen limeade concentrate, thawed, divided
2 pounds cream cheese
1 vanilla bean
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup sour cream
1/2 cup butter
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup lime juice
1/8 teaspoon salt
Decorative sprinkles (optional)
Heat oven to 350 degrees. Butter the bottom and sides of a 9 inch spring form pan. Mix graham cracker crumbs with melted butter and 2 tablespoons of the limeade concentrate. Press into the bottom of the pan and set aside. In a mixing bowl, beat cream cheese until light and fluffy. Split vanilla bean and scrape with a knife. Add scrapings to cheese. While beating at a low speed, pour in the remaining limeade concentrate. Beat on a higher speed for 1 minute. Stop mixer, add salt and eggs. Beat on low speed until blended. Pour batter over crust and bake for 1 hour. Turn off heat, but don't open oven for 30 minutes. Prop oven door open a crack and wait another 30 minutes. Remove cake from oven and allow to cool completely, then cover and refrigerate for at least 3 hours or overnight.
Make topping by combining sour cream, butter, sugar, lime juice and salt in a medium sauce pan. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Beat egg in a bowl. Remove 1/2 cup of the hot lime mixture and temper egg by slowly pouring in the hot liquid into the egg while beating it. Then pour egg mixture into the pan the same way, stirring constantly. Continue to boil and stir the topping for 15 minutes. Cool slightly (10 minutes or so) and then spread mixture over cold cheesecake. Top with sprinkles if desired. Chill an additional 30 minutes (or more) and then remove sides of pan to serve.
Hints: I use light cream cheese, Neufchatel, with no adverse effect. The center of this cheesecake is very creamy and you could add 3 tablespoons corn starch to the batter if you want a stiffer end product. A bit of green food coloring could be fun in the topping. You could also use this recipe with lemonade concentrate or another flavor. I tried this cheesecake cooking via the New York method (Hazelnut Cheesecake) and the top ended up with a very thin charred skin. I scraped off the char and it tasted fine but I think for this particular recipe a slower and lower temp is best.
Wow! This one hit the spot exactly! Light and refreshing flavor with a rich texture. My hankering for a delightfully spring tasting dessert was totally satisfied. I even had a slice for breakfast the next morning. Isn't springtime one of your favorite times of year?