I couldn't let summer get away without making something tart, sweet, smooth and creamy, and full of key lime flavor. I've made key lime pie for years so I thought I'd change it up a bit by making key lime cheesecake in a jar. There are so many layers to love in this quintessential summer dessert. We have the traditional graham cracker crust, an intensely flavorful key lime curd (puckerlicious!), a light and creamy key lime cheesecake layer and of course a sweetened whipped cream topping garnished with key lime zest.
Juicing key limes takes a little time, but it is worth it. Each tiny lime yields about 1/2 - 1 teaspoon juice so get comfortable and juice away.
Instead of making a big full size cheesecake I decided to make a much smaller dessert divided into 4 very large jars. I think this recipe would be better as 6 individual desserts but I only have the big Weck jars, so we went big. Lightly spritz the inside bottom of the jars with cooking spray and divide the graham cracker mixture evenly. Press the mixture into the bottom of the jars until it is somewhat compact and even. Bake for 5 minutes in a preheated oven.
The next layer is a key lime curd that can be made a day or two in advance. Curds are very easy to make and this one cooks up in just a few minutes.
The next layer is a light, fluffy, creamy combination of key lime juice, cream cheese, sour cream, egg and sugar. The sour cream creates a creamier filling than you would have in a traditional cheesecake. The consistency is more like a thick pudding. Yum :)
And finally in the very top is a small thin layer of sour cream mixed with a little sugar. My mom always put the sour cream topping on her key lime pies. I love it on this dessert too.
Key Lime Cheesecake - baked in a jar
For the Crust:
1 cup graham cracker crumbs
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
2 1/2 tablespoons melted butter
For the Key Lime Curd:
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup key lime juice
2 1/2 tablespoons butter, cubed
1/2 teaspoon key lime zest
For the Cheesecake Filling:16 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1 tablespoon arrowroot, or cornstarch
1/2 cup sour cream
1/3 cup key lime juice
1 teaspoon key lime zest
Sour Cream Topping:
1/2 cup sour cream
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
Whipped Cream and key lime zest for garnish
To make the curd: In a heavy bottom small saucepan combine the egg, sugar and lime juice until blended. Add the butter and lime zest. Cook over medium heat whisking constantly until the curd is thickened and coats the back of a metal spoon. Cool while preparing the crust.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
To make the crust combine the graham cracker crumbs, sugar and melted butter in a small bowl. Stir until well blended. Spray the bottom of 4 to 6 jars with Pam or other baking spray. Divide the mixture evenly between the jars and press until lightly and evenly packed in the bottom. Place the jars in a 13x9 inch baking pan with about 2 inch high sides. I used a pan appropriate for baking cake or brownies. Bake the crust for 5 minutes. Remove and set aside while preparing the filling.
For the filling beat the cream cheese and sugar until smooth and light. Beat in the egg, key lime juice, and cornstarch or arrowroot, just until blended. Stir in sour cream. Set aside.
For the topping combine the sour cream and sugar together and set aside.
To assemble the cheesecake jars: Divide the key lime curd evenly among the jars, then gently spoon the cream cheese layer on top, smoothing that layer as much as possible. Gently spoon the sour cream layer on top of the cream cheese and spread to cover if possible.
The jars should still be in the pan where the crust was baked. Just put the whole pan in the oven and pour very hot water into the pan until it is about 1 inch deep. Take care not to get the water in the jars. Bake for 30-40 minutes or until the center is set and the filling is puffed. The filling will move slightly when the jar is shaken.
Remove the pan from the oven and remove the jars from the hot water bath. Cool completely and refrigerate until ready to serve. Garnish with sweetened whipped cream and key lime zest and serve with a long handled spoon.
Be sure you dig way down to the bottom of the jar to get a little bit of the crust with each bite. I am smitten with baking in jars. I love popping on a lid and running a few over to my sons house so they can be official taste testers too. Again I think the portions would be better in 6 smaller jars - but if you want leftovers of your very own, stick with the big jar!
It's Monday again - boy it sure comes around fast. If you have kids I wonder if they're back in school. If you don't, do you miss buying new school supplies and new school clothes? I really miss the sporting events like swimming, baseball and softball and the concerts. Our daughter played the violin and we loved the concerts. I loved chaperoning school bus trips but I can personally say I don't miss homework!
I hope you have a terrific week! If you haven't already, don't forget you can sign up for email delivery of each and every post. Look for the box on the top right labeled "Subscribe by email." Thanks so much for stopping by!