Sunday, March 31, 2013

Mini Key Lime Cheesecakes

I found this recipe via this pin on Pinterest. That pinner got it from here, and it's important to note, because the two recipes vary in that one calls for beaten egg yolks, and the other calls for beaten egg whites. (I chose whites, since I figured they're healthier than yolks, and we all know this recipe is otherwise healthy, right?haha)


Since Mr.4444 cannot come home from the store with just one of what I ask for, I decided to double the recipe! Here follows the list of ingredients for a single batch:

1 1/2 cups crushed graham crackers (about 18 squares)
3/4 cups lime juice (Key Lime is preferred, but I don't know the difference, and it doesn't matter)
1/2 cup butter (originals called for 3/4 cup, but that was wayyyy too much, as you will see later)
3 egg whites, beaten
2 cans sweetened condensed milk
1/3 cup plain Greek yogurt
3 Tbls. sugar
1 Tbls. lime zest

By the way, you should be able to get 3/4 cups of lime juice out of 4 or 5 limes.

First, crush the graham crackers inside a baggy, like so:

Then add the melted butter. Use your judgement about how much to use; the recipe called for 3/4 cup, but it turned out to be way to much butter, as you'll see in a moment.

Put a couple of tablespoonsful of the crust mixture in cupcake liners and press them down with the bottom of a small drinking glass or measuring cup.

Bake for 8 minutes at 350 degrees and allow to cool while you prepare the rest.

While the crusts are baking wash your limes if you're fresh-squeezing them. Don't think that's necessary? Consider where the produce boy's hands have been, not to mention the customers who touched those limes before you did. (Yeah, I thought so!  You'll never not wash your produce again, will you?! You're welcome.)

Before squeezing lemons or limes, I always poke them with a fork and then microwave them for about 30-45 seconds to warm them up a little, which gets them to let their juice go easier.

Now, here's where I'm going to help you avoid making the same mistake I did--You are going to need lime zest, and I forgot that it's a lot easier to zest a lime before you squeeze it than after, so zest your limes before you nuke them, or you'll end up doing this (trying to hold the lime's shape while pressing it against the grater. (Note to self: Buy a lime/lemon zester.)

I'm told you can buy already-squeezed lime juice, but where would the fun be in that?!

By the way, for some reason, it took this many limes for me to get a tablespoon of zest: 

(Maybe I wasn't trying hard enough (I was a little worried about grating the skin off of my knuckles...) 

If you buy lime juice, you're not going to have zest, so keep that in mind. I'm sure it's not absolutely necessary, but it does add a little bit of color and texture. My subsequent lime-zest research revealed that you should be able to get a tablespoon of zest from two limes. (Go figure!)

Now prepare the cheesecake batter. I was confused about the "beaten egg whites," as the only time I've beaten egg whites was when they had to be beaten into a meringue, so I started to beat them in my Kitchenaid mixer, and by the time they were at a froth, I'd changed my mind and stopped. As a result, I ended up with enough for two pans of mini-cheesecakes and a pie! Next time, I will probably just beat the egg whites a little and see what happens.

Add the sweetened condensed milk, sugar, yogurt, and lime juice and zest to the egg whites.

Stir well and pour into the muffin tins. The recipe said to make them 3/4 full, but I had way too much batter to hold off, so here's what I did. (This is where you'll note evidence of how I know there was too much butter in the crust mixture.).

Bake 15 minutes. They're done when you can stick a knife in and pull it out without much on it. They shouldn't be brown or be cracked.

After they've cooled, serve with whipped cream and lime garnish (if you want to; I just used a little piece for the photo and had sent Mr.4444 to the store for the whipped cream, so it's not in this shot, but you get the idea.)

 I will definitely be making these again, as they have just the right amount of lime in them, 
and everyone here (and at work) loved them.
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