The dog days of summer are upon us, so I thought I should share this recipe with you before summer is completely over and our brains can only comprehend pumpkin and apples and cinnamon (oh my!). I whipped up this refreshing lime-y cheesecake-y treat for a backyard BBQ a few weeks back. It is adapted from a recipe my mom has used for years, which was originally found here. The original recipe is a favorite of mine because it only looks super fancy and hard. It also takes no time to prepare, the clean up is quick, and it is always a crowd pleaser. The original recipe calls for a lemon base, but I decided to try lime instead. If you can find Key Limes, I would encourage you to use those. They have a slightly different taste than the limes that are usually found in the grocery store, and they are juicier. I couldn’t find Key Limes, so I used regular limes, and this tart was still delicious… I just called it Key Lime, and no one was the wiser! (Again, with the only seeming fancy. Is my life a lie?)
The changes I made to the original recipe to make it more suitable for limes was to increase the ratio of lime to the rest of the ingredients that goe into the tart by increasing the amount of juice and adding zest. I also used a whipped cream topping instead of fresh berries. You just can’t have Key Lime desserts without a generous serving of whipped cream! I made a vanilla bean whipped cream, which is super easy to do. It also seems really fancy. But it isn’t. Are we starting to see a pattern?
My favorite source of vanilla beans is from this amazing paste that I found at Williams Sonoma. One tablespoon of paste is equal to one vanilla bean. It is is so much easier and much more budget-friendly than buying vanilla beans. Although, I’m sure the flavor isn’t as impactful or bright as real vanilla beans.
This tart is just the right amount of sweet from the cookie dough base, and refreshing. It is super easy to whip up, and always impresses a crowd. And, you can trick your friends and loved ones into thinking you too are super fancy!
Key Lime Cheesecake Tart
Ingredients for Cheesecake Tart
16.5 oz. roll refrigerated sugar cookie dough, cut into 1/2 inch thick slicers
2 x 3 oz. packages of cream cheese, room temperature
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon of (key) lime juice
1 heaping teaspoon lime zest
1/2 teaspoon of vanilla or vanilla bean paste
Ingredients for Vanilla Bean Whipped Cream
8 oz. heavy whipping cream
Granulated sugar to taste (I sweeten mine with 2-3 tablespoons)
1 tablespoons of vanilla bean paste
Directions for Vanilla Bean Whipped Cream
Important note: to achieve the best results, put your bowl and beater into the freezer at least 30 minutes in advance of making whipped cream so they are very cold.
Using an electric mixer, add whipped cream, sugar, and vanilla bean paste. Whip on high until stiffer peaks if you plan to pipe your whipped cream onto the tart. If you plan to dollop your whipped cream as garnish, softer peaks are desirable.
Directions for Key Lime Cheesecake Tart with Vanilla Bean Whipped Cream
Press cookie dough slices into bottom and fluted sides of a greased 11-inch tart pan with removable bottom. Do not prick. (Or, press onto bottom of greased 12-inch pizza pan.) Bake in a 350 degrees F oven 20 minutes or until light brown. Remove from oven; set aside.
In a small bowl, beat cream cheese with an electric mixer on medium to high speed for 30 seconds. Add 1/4 cup sugar, egg, lime zest, lime juice and vanilla (or vanilla bean paste). Beat until combined. Pour cheese mixture over warm crust and spread evenly.
Bake for 15 to 17 minutes more or until or until cheese mixture is set. Transfer to a wire rack; let cool completely before piping or topping with whipped cream. I piped my whipped cream onto the tart using a large star tip. Garnish with zest of lime if desired.