21 September 2012

Lime Cheesecake with Toasted Coconut

The ability to make a good cheesecake should be in any budding cook's repertoire. 
This is a fairly simple cheesecake with a graham cracker crust.  It is topped with lime curd and toasted coconut.
The graham cracker crust is an easy mix of crushed graham crackers, sugar, butter and shredded coconut.  Bake for five minutes to set the crust.
The filling is a little more complicated.  I think a mixer would have helped, but my recipe told me that I could stir up three softened packages of cream cheese and sugar "until creamy."  I am going to tell you straight up that that did not happen.  And I'm fairly confident that my cream cheese met the "softened" parameter.  But after I started adding eggs, it smoothed right out.  I think a mixer would have helped with those last few chunks.  Oh, and rather than place it IN a pan of water while baking, I placed a pan of water underneath it in the oven.
Things might have gone slightly awry at the baking.  The recipe says to bake until the center is set and the edges are just beginning to brown.  Those things did not happen simultaneously for me.  The whole top was very brown by the time the center set.
Oh, and there was a big bubble in it.  I planned on adding topping anyway, so the bubble got cut out and that wasn't a problem at all.  I really do like how the green cheesecake is peeking out from under the browned top.
Topping!  I made lime curd to top my cheesecake.  I was worried about it being over-limey, but in the end, the cheesecake had only a hint of lime so the lime curd was perfect.
Oh, and I must mention this spring-form pan - I found it for a dollar at a thrift store the morning I made this cheesecake.  I was planning on making it in a pie plate, because that's how fancy I am.  But then this spring-form pan practically jumped into my arms!
Okay, so then the toasted shaved coconut.  True story, this is how I toast coconut:  I turn on the broiler and then place the pan of shaved coconut under it.  As soon as I can smell the coconut, it comes out and there are a few burnt pieces I have to pick out.  It toasts pretty quickly, probably under 5 minutes.  I've never timed it.  If you don't want to burn any, then just keep an eye on it.
The crust was nicely browned and curled inward.
Overall, this cheesecake got great reviews (including someone questioning if it was store-bought).  So I'm going to go ahead and call this one a success!


Cheese filling - I added three drops of green food coloring for visual effect.

Lime curd - I halved the recipe and used all of what I made for the cheesecake.  I would not have minded making the whole recipe and using the excess lime curd for other things, as previously mentioned.

Toasted shaved coconut - toast under a broiler for under five minutes, keeping a close eye on it.

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