Friday, January 25, 2013

{GF} Key Lime Cheesecake Tarts

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Gluten free baking has never been more fun in my kitchen! I've been enjoying the trial and error of baking, especially when it comes to gluten free goodies. My recent success are these {GF} Key Lime Cheesecake Tarts.  These delectable key lime cheesecake tarts are everything like the original with the exception of a gluten free pecan shortbread crust. Tangy and creamy key lime cheesecake is baked into a sweet, pecan shortbread crust before garnishing with a dollop with freshly whipped cream and a sprinkling of freshly grated lime zest.... and it's all complete gluten free!

When I took a hard look at my favorite cheesecake recipe, gluten was only used in the crust - in the form of plain old graham cracker crumbs. Well, thanks to the numerous gluten free cookies available, why would I have to limit myself to just gluten free cracker crumbs (which can be pricey)?  Normally I don't even bother with store-bought gluten free cookies since the ones I've tried weren't as good as making them homemade from scratch. However, I now have room for these gluten free cookies in my kitchen... not so much for snacking on, but for baking with. I used a gluten free pecan shortbread cookie which I processed finely, in place of graham cracker crumbs. It made for such a delicious crust and a time saver as well!

{GF} Key Lime Cheesecake Tarts
recipe adapted from Taste & See


Ingredients
  • 1 1/2 cup gluten free shortbread cookies, crushed fine
  • 5 Tablespoons butter, melted
  • 2 Tablespoons sugar
  • Zest of 2 limes
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 (8oz) pkgs cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 3 Tablespoons key lime juice
Cooking Directions
  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. Mix together the finely crushed cookies, melted butter, 2 tablespoons sugar, half the lime zest and vanilla. Press mixture into 6 mini tart pans. Set crust aside.
  3. Combine sugar and lime zest and mix with the cream cheese in the bowl of a stand-mixer (or in a large bowl if using a hand-mixer) and cream together until smooth.
  4. Add eggs, one at a time, fully incorporating each before adding the next. Make sure to scrape down the bowl in between each egg. Add heavy cream and key lime juice and blend until smooth and creamy.
  5. Pour batter into prepared crusts and tap the pans on the counter a few times to bring all air bubbles to the surface. Place pans onto a baking sheet.
  6. Bake 25-35 minutes, until it is almost done - this can be hard to judge, but you're looking for the cake to hold together, but still have a lot of jiggle to it in the center. You don't want it to be completely firm at this stage. Close the oven door, turn the heat off, and let rest in the cooling oven for one hour. This lets the cake finish cooking and cool down gently enough so that it won't crack on the top.
  7. After one hour, remove cheesecake from oven and let it finish cooling on the counter, and then cover and put in the fridge to chill.
  8. Once fully chilled, it is ready to serve.
  9. To garnish, top with freshly whipped cream and a touch of freshly grated lime zest.

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