Saturday, May 17, 2008

Key Lime Coconut Cheesecake

Adapted from Baking From My Home to Yours Tall & Creamy Cheesecake pg 235-237
For the crust:
2 cups reduced fat cinnamon graham cracker crumbs, finely crushed
1/2 cup toasted coconut
5 tablespoons lite butter, melted

For the filling:
3- 8 oz packages cream cheese, at room temp (I used two 1/3 less fat and 1 fat free)
1 cup sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 tablespoon vanilla bean paste
3 eggs (I used All Whites)
1 cup fat free sour cream
2 cups toasted coconut
5 key limes, zested & juiced

To toast the coconut:
Preheat oven to 300.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Spread coconut evenly on paper.

Bake tossing coconut every five minutes until coconut is nicely toasted.

To make the crust:
Spray a 9 inch springform pan generously with cooking spray. Wrap the bottom in a double layer of foil going up the sides.

In a small bowl combine graham cracker crumbs, coconut, and butter with a fork until well combined. Dump crumb mixture into the bottom of the springform pan. Use your fingers to pan an even layer of crumbs over the bottom of the pan and about half way up the sides. Don't worry if the sides are not perfectly even.

Preheat oven to 350.

Place crust in freezer for 10 minutes. Remove crust from freezer and place on a baking sheet. Bake for 10 minutes. Set the crust on a cooling rack to cool while making the filling.

Reduce oven temp to 325.

To make the cheesecake:
Boil 4 cups water.
Working with a stand mixer, fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese at medium speed until soft and creamy, about 4 minutes. With the mixer running, and the sugar and salt and continue to beat for another four minutes, until the cream cheese is light. Beat in the vanilla and key lime juice and zest. Add the eggs one by one, beating for a full minute after each addition. Reduce the mixer speed to low and mix in the sour cream. Slowly add in the coconut.

Put the foil-wrapped springform pan in a roasting pan that is large enough to hold the pan with some space around uit.

Give the batter a few stirs with a rubber spatula, just to make sure that there is nothing left unmixed at the bottom of the bowl, and scrape the batter into the springform pan. Put the roasting pan in the oven and pour the water into it to come halfway up the sides of the springform pan.

Bake the cheesecake for 1 hour and 30 minutes, at which point the top should be browned (and perhaps cracked) and may have risen just a little over the edge of the pan. Turn the oven off and prop the oven door open with a wooden spoon. All the cheesecake to luxuriate in its water bath for another hour.

After 1 hour, carefully remove from the oven, lift the springform pan out of the roaster - be careful there may be some hot water in the foil - and remove the foil. Let the cheesecake come to room temperature on a cooling rack.

When the cake is cool, cover the top and refrigerate for at least 4 hours.

At serving time, remove the sides of the springform pan using a hairdryer for easy release.