What started my kick on key limes is a friend of mine wanted to make her grandmothers' key lime pie. She could not find them where she lives in Georgia. It just so happens here in Lancaster we have a store named Wegman's which had them for sale. Being the good friend that I am (do not laugh Susie) I sent her a bag of these limes for her pie.
Of course, I had to get a bag for myself. It only seemed fitting that I try my hand at these small, frustrating to get the juice out of, a total curiosity of taste, and cute little limes. I found this helpful hint on the Internet for juicing key limes:
"These Key limes are tiny and packed with seeds. How do I get enough juice from them? Juicing Key limes is super-annoying, but the fresh flavor is worth the trouble. You should make it easy on yourself, though: Start by microwaving your Key limes for 30 seconds to soften them up and help them juice more easily. Then use a citrus reamer (or even just a fork) to extract the most juice possible. Don't try to squeeze those small Key limes with your hands--you'll be miserable."
By Adina Steiman on Epicurious.com
To make these gluten-free, I love the flavor of Pamela's Honey Grahams. I prefer this graham cracker to any graham cracker whether it is gluten-free or not. They work perfectly for my cheesecake bars!
They are firm and make a great solid base for my cheesecake bars. The honey gives it a slightly sweeter taste to compliment the tartness of the key limes.
One box works perfectly for the 8X8 or 9X9 baking dish. The baking dish I use says 9X9 but it is closer to 8X8 at the bottom of the stoneware (I use Rachal Ray's Cucina Stoneware 9X9), but any baking dish will do.
The macadamia nuts choice was my favorite nut to go with this graham cracker.
Key Lime Cheesecake Bars
- 1 TBSP Sugar white
- ½ cup Condensed milk
- ½ cup Key lime juice
- Lime zest 1 lime
- ¼ cup Sour cream
- 2 Eggs
- 16 oz Cream Cheese 2 blocks
- 1 TBSP Sugar white
- 1 box Graham crackers
- ½ cup Macadamia nuts
- ⅓ cup Melted butter unsalted
- In a food processor (I use the S blade) pour the ½ cup macadamia nuts and process into tiny pieces. Next, add the squares of the Graham crackers until you have added the whole box. Pour this mixture into a bowl. Add the butter to a safe microwave bowl and melt the butter (mine was about 30 seconds). Add the melted butter to the graham cracker mixture along with the sugar. Stir till all the graham crackers are moist and clinging together.
- Take a 9X9 baking dish and line with tin foil. Have the tin foil come up the sides at least ⅔ of the way. Press the crust across the whole bottom evenly and set the dish aside.
- Preheat oven to 325°
- Juice the key limes till you have ½ cup. Zest 1 lime (if you use key limes you need a couple to equal 1 regular lime) and set aside.
- In a stand (I use a KitchenAid) or hand-held mixer bowl add cream cheese and sugar. Blend till creamy and whipped looking. I usually have small little peaks around the mixer bowl. Stop the mixer and scrape the sides down. Add eggs one at a time and blend into the cream cheese mixture. Next, add the lime zest, sour cream, key lime juice, condensed milk, and mix till all is incorporated.
- Pour the cream cheese mixture over the graham cracker crust, the filling will be thin but don't worry it thicken up when it bakes. I pick up the dish a little and let it come back down to the counter to let any air bubbles come to the top. Just smooth out the filling, so it is even in the baking dish. Put into the preheated oven for 40 min. Pull out of the oven and let it cool before placing into the refrigerator overnight.
- The next day remove the baking dish from the refrigerator and lift the tinfoil with the cheesecake out of the dish. The tin foil will come off the crust with ease. On a cutting board, take a sharp knife and cut the cheesecake into whatever size squares you would like.