This is not the first time I have made this recipe. This is, however, the best time I have made this recipe. Why? Because I made changes, additions, and actually remembered them this time. Isn’t that neat when that happens?
I seeeerrrrusly LOVE cheesecake. Alls my life, I’ve been lovin' cheesecake. And this is definitely one of the best. And you know how hard it is to make a beautiful, crack-free cheesecake? And I’m not talking about the fun kind of crack. I actually mean the literal crack that forms along the top of the “filling” when it is done baking. That’s not a cute cheesecake-look.
Well, one of the great parts of this recipe is how you literally do not have to worry if that’s a thing. It literally does not matter if your cheesecake cracks to high heavens (my grandmother would be so proud of my usage of “high heavens”).
PLUS, with a few substitutions, this is so much more guilt-free than a traditional cheesecake. Using Greek Yogurt Cream Cheese and Almonds, I mean...this is basically a Protein Shake everyone should be taking before the gym.
Key Lime Cheesecake with Graham Cracker & Almond Crust
2 Packages Graham Crackers (16 whole crackers)
1 Cup Toasted Almonds
1 ½ Cups Butter, melted
½ Cup Sugar
1 Teaspoon Salt
6 Egg Yolks
¾ Cup Sugar
6 Tablespoons Fresh Key Lime Juice
1 Teaspoon Grated Key Lime Peel
4 Packages Greek Cream Cheese
1 1/3 Cups of Granulated Sugar
4 Large Eggs
6 Tablespoons Fresh Key Lime Juice
2 Tablespoons Grated Key Lime Peel
16 Ounces Fage Greek Yogurt
3 Tablespoons Granulated Sugar
**Disclaimer** Regular limes will work if you are too lazy or cannot find Key Limes. Just for heaven’s sake, do not use concentrate. For the love of God. Thank you.
Using a food processor, run the graham crackers with the almonds until they are well combined and look a little like sand. Add sugar, salt and give it one more pulse. You can either continue with the food processor or move to another bowl but, pour in the melted butter and make sure it gets thoroughly combined. It should just begin to pull together and hold its shape.
Grease a spring-form pan really well and wrap the bottom in 3 layers of tin foil, covering as much of the sides as you can. Pour the crust mixture into the pan and spread it as evenly as possible through the bottom and up the sides. I used a 14 inch spring-form pan. If you use a smaller one, adjust accordingly. Live your truth.
Bake at 350 for about 10 minutes, just until the crust begins to set and get a little toasty-delicious.
While that is baking, combine your custard in a sauce pan over medium-high heat. Stir constantly until the custard boils for about 30 seconds and starts to look like custard. Take it off the heat, still stirring, and it will thicken like crazy. Pour it in over the crust, spread evenly, and work on your cream cheese filling!
Basically, don’t over think it or be dumb. Add all the filling-type things into a bowl and whip it. Whip it good. Don’t stop whipping until it’s super smooth and lump-free. That’s the life goal, right? To be lump-free?
Gently pour the filling in over the custard layer and smooth out the top so it is nice and even. Place the pan in a larger dish and fill with water, up to about 1 inch on the side. This is where you better have wrapped the foil tight! If you don’t have a dish that will work this way, you can place a separate dish of water on the rack below the cheesecake in your oven. I have done this several times and it works just fine. Bake at 350 until the middle of the cheesecake filling just BARELY jiggles when you move it, about 45 minutes.
When it is almost done baking, whip together your Greek yogurt topping.
Mix 3 tablespoons granulated sugar with 16 ounces of Fage Greek Yogurt until it is incredi-smooth. Only use this brand. This brand is best.
Smooth the yogurt completely over the top of the cheesecake and bake for another 5-10 minutes. This will “set” the topping and it will be thoroughly delicious. This is the part where you can direct all the mean looks you want to that cheesecake crack that may or may not have formed along the filling. I mean, if your cheesecake cracks and hurts your feelings, now's the time to really show it who's boss.
Allow the cheesecake to cool and enjoy the epic bounty.