A few weeks ago friends came over for dinner and I made Mexican food.  (My favorite enchiladas and Mexican rice, in case you were curious.)  Since I’m still not able to indulge in margaritas (sniffle), I settled on a lime dessert.  It’s been a pretty long time since I last made cheesecake and I had leftover blackberry sauce in my fridge, so this was a great fit all around.  I opted for mini cheesecakes because the last thing I need is a huge leftover cheesecake in my house – you know, kryptonite for my willpower.  This dessert was a hit with all of us.  A 4-inch mini cheesecake seems to be the perfect size for a couple to share.  The cheesecake is smooth and creamy, and the lime flavor, at least for me was just right.  I often find lime desserts overpowering, so if you love lime, you may want to increase the lime zest.  The blackberry sauce adds a nice pop of color and is a lovely sweet-tart compliment to the cheesecake.  I suppose the only bad thing about this is that now, I know how easy it is to make mini cheesecakes.  Uh oh.

Lime Cheesecake with Blackberry Sauce
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Yield: 1 9-inch cheesecake or 6 4-inch cheesecakes
For the crust:
2 cups graham cracker crumbs
6 tbsp. sugar
6 tbsp. unsalted butter, melted

For the cheesecake:
3 (8 oz.) packages cream cheese
1 cup sugar
3 large eggs
Juice of 2 limes
Zest of 2 limes

For the blackberry sauce:
6 oz. blackberries, rinsed and drained
2 tbsp. sugar
1½ tsp. cornstarch
1½ tsp. cold water

To make the cheesecake, preheat the oven to 325 ˚F.  Combine the graham cracker crumbs, sugar and butter in a medium bowl.  Stir together until well combined and moistened.  Press the crumbs into the bottom of a 9-inch springform pan (or 6 4-inch mini springforms).  In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese on medium-high speed until smooth.  Gradually mix in the sugar.  Blend in the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.  Beat in the lime juice and lime zest until well combined.  Pour the filling over the graham cracker crust.

To minimize cracking, place a shallow pan half full of hot water on the bottom rack of the oven during baking.  Bake for 55-65 minutes or until the center is set (25-33 minutes for mini springforms).  Turn the oven off and prop the door open about 4 inches.  Let the cheesecake stand 30 minutes.  Remove from the oven and transfer to a wire rack.  Let cool 10 minutes.  Carefully remove the sides of the pan and let cool to room temperature on the rack.  Cover and refrigerate for at least 8 hours before slicing and serving.

To make the blackberry sauce, combine the blackberries and sugar in a medium saucepan set over medium-high heat.  Cook, stirring occasionally, until the berries begin to release some of their juices and the mixture is simmering.  Combine the cornstarch and water in a small bowl; whisk until smooth.  Add the cornstarch mixture to the blackberries and mix well.  Reduce the heat to medium and let cook, stirring occasionally, until the mixture comes to a low boil and thickens slightly.  Remove from the heat and press the mixture through a fine mesh sieve to remove the seeds.  The sauce will thicken slightly as it cools.

Drizzle the blackberry sauce over the cheesecake before serving.

Source: Use Real Butter, originally from The Good Housekeeping Illustrated Book of Desserts