Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Blackberry Lime Cheesecake

Don't panic, I survived the spider bite!

Generally I am in the habit of blogging here at least 5 days a week, however the entirety of yesterday was spent with Father Humble trying to rescue data off one of my dead hard drives. After no less than 15 hours of work, we--well he--was successful. I have all my data back and I should probably burn my years of precious photographs to disks rather than relying on these temperamental external drives.

So! Fortified by my good fortune, I'm back in the kitchen today and turning out goodies once again. Today's treat: Lime Cheesecake with a Blackberry Swirl. I just love the combination of blackberry and lime. It is sweet, tart and creamy.

I was itching to make mini cheesecakes (nothing to do with the spider bite) and decided to put my 4" springforms to use. However, since I know that is a rather uncommon pan size I'll post the recipe for this cheesecake in 10" form. If you DO have lots of mini cheesecake pans lying around, then feel free to divide among your pans (though you may need up to 50% more crust to make multiple minis). This recipe makes roughly eight 4" cheesecakes or one 10" cheesecake.

Not So Humble Lime Shortbread Crust

1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cup powdered sugar
3 tablespoons cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon salt
9 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces
2 teaspoons lime zest

In a food processor, combine the starch, flour, sugar, salt and butter and pulse until the mixture resembles a coarse meal. Pulse in the zest, if using and then pour into a 10" springfrom pan.

Press the crumbs into an even layer at the bottom of the pan and half way up the sides to form the crust. Place in the freezer and then preheat your oven to 350°F with a rack in the lower third of the oven.

When the oven is hot pull the crust out of the freezer and bake for 15 minutes. Allow to cool on a wire rack.

Not So Humble Blackberry Lime Cheesecake

32 ounces cream cheese (at room temperature)
1 3/4 cups granulated sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
1 tablespoon all purpose flour
1/2 cup sour cream (at room temperature)
4 large eggs (at room temperature)
2 tablespoons lime juice
2 teaspoons lime zest

2 cups blackberries
simple syrup
splash lemon juice

boiling water

Preheat your oven to 350°F with a rack set in the lower third of your oven.

Start by making the blackberry sauce: In a food processor combine the blackberries with the splash of lemon juice and enough simple syrup to make a slightly thick slurry. Strain the mixture and collect the juices (this is optional, sometimes I use the whole fruit) and set aside, discarding the remaining solids.

To make the cheesecake, beat the cream cheese for roughly 4 minutes on medium speed until smooth in your stand mixer with the paddle attachment. Slowly pour the sugar into the cream cheese scraping down the sides of the bowl. Add the vanilla, lime zest and sour cream. Sift the flour into the mixture. Reduce your mixer's speed to low and add the eggs one at a time, mixing until each one is just incorporated taking care not to over beat the mixture.

Pour the mixture into the pan with the crust. Pour the blackberry mixture into a plastic sandwich bag and cut off enough of the corner to pipe a 1/4" - 1/2" ribbon of sauce. Pipe parallel lines of the mixture across the top of the cheesecake. Using a skewer or toothpick, drag it through the batter perpendicular to the lines in a zig zag to create the marbling effect. You can also just swirl the toothpick for a more abstract design.

Set the cheesecake on to two large sheets of aluminum foil and smooth them up the sides of the pan, making it water tight. Set the cake into a deep roasting pan and place in the oven. Carefully pour boiling water into the roasting pan. About an inch of water works fine, but don't pour above the lowest edge of your foil. (Note: If you're making mini cheesecakes, you can skip the water bath. Simply place a rack in the lowest part of your oven--below the cheesecakes--and set a pan of boiling water onto it. This will keep the humidity in your oven high and help keep the heat gentle.)

Bake for approximately 60-70 minutes until cake is set but center is still slightly wobbly. Turn off the heat and allow to cool in the oven with the door ajar for roughly 20 minutes. Carefully remove the roasting pan from the oven and set the cheesecake onto a wire rack to cool (You'll need to be particularly gentle when handling a marbled cheesecake, as the topping has weakened the surface tension on the cake and they can be prone to cracking). Once the cake is room temperature chill for a minimum of 4 hours, ideally overnight.



  1. So glad to hear that you and your data survived!

  2. store your stuff in the cloud. amazon's S3 storage is incredibly inexpensive.

    i pay about $1.50 a month for 8GB of storage.

  3. You torture me weekly with delicious things I don't have time to make. I can't wait until the semester is over and fruit is in season!

  4. I have mini springform pans!! I just bought them a few weeks ago. I'm going to try this out. It looks so yummy!!

    I'm so glad you got your data back and that you're okay after the spider bite. Take care.

  5. Anything with cheesecake in the title has my vote.

  6. hi! since you love all things delicious, i thought you might find this entertaining:

    someone made a march madness...about desserts. amazing. the comments are the best part!
    anyway, love the blog, glad you survived spiders!

  7. so yummy! i'm gonna have to try that recipe!

    I hope you'll stop by my blog, i'm hosting a giveaway i think you might like

  8. Ms Humble, when are you writing a book on how to be a domestic goddess? I'm planning on buying 5 copies...

  9. But did the spider bite give you superpowers? Enquiring minds want to know.

  10. oh my goodness, these look and sound delicious! Thanks for the tips for baking cheese cakes in mini tins!

  11. I'm happy you were able to save your files! What a relief!

    I've never heard of blackberry and lime together, but it sounds like it would be good. I'll have to try it out this summer! Thanks for the recipe!

  12. Only if the superpower is the ability to completely destroy all order in my garage in mere seconds.

    A garage that will need to be put back together if I am ever going to aspire to the domestic goddess title.

    I'm pretty sure the committee lead by Mr. Spiffy would deny me 'goddess status' at the moment.

  13. This looks fabulous - I love berries and lime together! I'll probably save it for summer farmers market blackberries, though.

  14. wow!
    i love, love, love baking mini" cheesecakes...
    & with your kind guidance i now know that i do not need to place assembled forms directly into a water bath...never knew this & LOVE your method :)...
    thanks so much...
    you are "a domestic diva" to me...
    & glad your external drives are corrected...
    everything is wonderfully correct about you!!

    did i tell you i love this post & LOVE your blog!

  15. Linda,

    One thing I would be careful with though, is using the method with other recipes. Some cheesecakes, even in miniature, will require a water bath.

    This cake however is pretty sturdy and rarely cracks (even when marbled) when handled with care.


    Online storage is an option. Unfortunately I'm going to burn though a number of terabyte drives at the rate I am going.


    Cheesecake is going to dominate French Silk (as much as I love it)


    I eagerly await June when my local farmers market holds court 2 blocks from my front door every Saturday. Fresh Baby artichokes... mmmm. Summer can't get here soon enough.

  16. This looks so delicious! This will be my next cheesecake!

  17. Gorgeous cheesecake! The colors are just perfect to put anyone in Spring mode!

  18. Loosing data sounds like a nightmare! Lucky you got it all back.

    That cheesecake sounds delicious!

  19. This is gorgeous or what!!!
    So delicious, It's been some time since I baked cheese cake...

  20. What a beautiful cheesecake - from the flavors to the colors to the stunniung photographs that showcase it all. You have a beautiful blog :)

  21. I tried out your lime shortbread crust for a lemon pie I'm making (swapping out the lime for lemon) and it is awesome. I could not resist sneaking bits of the crust before it baked. I've never been interested in making shortbread before, but I think it's going to quickly make my list.

  22. I make a version of blackberry cheesecake that requires putting on a thick long sleeved shirt, long pants and my leather rose pruning gloves, and then going into the many blackberry brambles that grow in our Seattle neighborhood for at least two quarts of berries.

    I then take these berries and choose out the most lovely of the berries about a cup of berries. Then I take the rest and put them in a pot with a wee bit of water and steam them down a bit to break down the flesh. Then I put it through my Moulinex hand powered food mill to remove the seeds. I take the juice, add about a cup of sugar and cook it down to a syrup of about one and a half cups. Which is cooled.

    I then make the cheesecake filling with 32 oz. of cream cheese, four eggs, a cup of the blackberry syrup and a splash of liquor (orange, berry, whatever) with a food processor (I like them denser, with a depression in the middle). Put into crust of choice and bake (about an hour).

    When it is cooled I spread the remaining half cup of blackberry syrup, then cover with a cup of sour cream... which is followed by a cover of whole berries.

    I brought this to the end of season picnic of the last time my daughter could go to Nature Camp at Cowen Park, where it was well received (including a parent who was a chef). Daughter could no longer go since she is too old. She hopes to be a junior counselor there soon as a high school student (by the way, this is near where Betty McDonald lived after leaving her husband that she wrote about in The Egg and I).

    But alas, and the real reason I post this so late: our local blackberries may no longer be usable for culinary uses!

    This is due to the invasion of a new pest, the Spotted Wing Drosophila, also known as the cherry vinegar fruit fly. Unlike most fruit flies that go after the smell of rotting fruit, this one goes into fruit just before it ripens. It has ruined cherry crops in California and peaches in Oregon.

    What is worst is that it likes cool damp places like the Pacific Northwest (west wet side, not dry hot side).

    I went to a meeting about pests at the Seattle Tree Fruit Society, and the presenters explained that they were able to "decant" the maggots from their raspberries. What they did was pick the raspberries, put them in a container with big holes (like berry baskets) suspended in a larger container and put them in the fridge. Then in the morning the maggots had dropped from the berries.


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