Thursday, February 3, 2011

Sugar free Key Lime Cheesecake


So hubby and I have been on a low carb phase for the past month and he is railing at the lack of desserts.  Needless to say, when he came home to me piling creamy lime cheesecake filling into a pie shell, I almost lost my spatula before I finished.  He very happily scarfed down what was left on the spoonula and without even tasting the finished product, declared that I could make this every week no matter what phase we were doing.  His words:  "Mmmmmm... oohhhhhh... (smack, scarumph)... thish ish good."  And after trying the finished pie...  "This is the first real dessert we've had since we started this diet!"   Me:  But does it taste like a 'diet' dessert honey?   Him:  "NO." 

I think the filling alone is worth making for a quick, rich and creamy mousse-like dessert.  It is incredibly filling and satisfying because it is made with real, full fat cream cheese and heavy whipped cream.  If you have access to pecan meal, hooray!  If not, freeze some pecans and run them through a coffee/spice grinder to make a wonderful fine meal.  Don't try it without freezing or you'll get nut butter.  ☺  I have a spare coffee grinder I keep just for spices and tasks like that.  Almond flour is more readily available, but the finer the better as far as I am concerned.  Bob's Red Mill isn't all that fine but will do in a pinch.  With Stevia, less is more.  Start with a smaller amount and increase to taste.  Too much and you will get that tell tale bitter flavor.  Erythritol loves its crystalline form and doesn't like to dissolve so it needs to be powdered in the spice grinder too.  If you want to make this with real sugar and a graham crust, I'm sure you can, but it never hurts to ditch the sugar now and then.  When baking with sugar alternatives, the more kinds you can use, the better the flavor will tend to be.  A touch of honey does wonders to round out the sweetness as well.


Guilt free Key Lime Cheesecake
adapted from Healthy Indulgences
serves 8 ish ☺

Crust:
1 cup blanched almond meal, lightly packed
½ cup pecan meal, lightly packed
½ tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp powdered pure stevia extract
2 tbsp erythritol, powdered
½ tsp xanthan gum
3 tbsp butter, melted
½ tsp. vanilla
1/8 tsp salt

Filling:
2 (8oz) pkgs cream cheese, softened
7 tbsp granular erythritol (or other sugar substitute), powdered
¼ tsp powdered pure stevia extract
½ cup key lime juice, fresh or bottled
¼ tsp finely minced lime zest
1 packet (2 tsp) unflavored gelatin
1 cup heavy cream
pinch powdered pure stevia extract

To make the crust:
Preheat oven to 350º F.  Stir together almond meal, pecan meal, cinnamon, stevia, and xanthan gum in a bowl.  Whirl erythritol in a coffee grinder to powder it.  Give it a minute to let the dust settle.  Whisk into the almond mixture. Stir vanilla and salt into the melted butter.  Drizzle over almond mixture and knead together dough with fingers until thoroughly combined.  Lightly grease a large glass pie dish with butter. Press the dough on the bottom and up the sides of the pan in an even thickness.  Dock with a fork to prevent bubbles while baking.  Bake crust for 14-15 minutes or until edges are slightly browned.  Cool completely on a wire rack and dry for at least 2 hours.  Crust may be wrapped in plastic and refrigerated overnight if you'd like to prepare the filling the next day.

To make the filling:
Make sure cream cheese is at or near room temperature to prevent lumps.  Beat cream cheese with a mixer until smooth.  Powder erythritol in coffee grinder.  Mix erythritol and ¼ tsp stevia into cream cheese.  Beat on high speed for a couple minutes to ensure erythritol has dissolved and texture is smooth.  Refrigerate mixture.  Pour gelatin into lime juice to "bloom" it.  Heat in microwave for 1 minute and mix until gelatin is dissolved.  You could do this in a small saucepan on the stovetop as well.  Add lime zest to juice mixture.  Let cool for 5-10 minutes, or until no longer hot to the touch.  Gradually mix juice into cream cheese mixture.  You will end up with a creamy mixture that should leave trails from the beaters.  Set the cream cheese mixture aside.  In a separate bowl, beat heavy cream and the pinch of stevia until stiff peaks form. Fold a dollop of whipped cream mixture into cream cheese mixture to lighten it up a bit.  Fold the rest of the whipped cream into cream cheese mixture until evenly incorporated.  Pile into the cooled pie crust. Refrigerate the pie uncovered for an hour or so, or until texture is firm enough to cut. Serve topped with additional whipped cream if desired.  Pie will keep at least 3 days refrigerated but probably won't last that long.  ☺

6 comments:

Mary said...

This is absolutely gorgeous looking. My family loves both key lime and cheesecake, so this will be making its way from your kitchen to mine very soon. I hope you have a great day. Blessings...Mary

hobby baker said...

Thanks, I hope you like it if you try it! I will be making another this weekend because we only have two or three pieces left. Hubby and daughter still raving over it. ☺

lilyko said...

I was looking for a low sugar low carb cheesecake to make for a potluck when I came across your recipe.

I used almond flour that I bought from from Bulk Foods (in Canada) and walnuts (instead of pecans) that I ground in my food processor for the crust. I didn't freeze the walnuts before grinding them. The texture looked exactly like graham crumbs and it smelled heavenly when it came out of the oven. I also used xylitol instead of erythritol and left out the xanthan gum.

I will definitely be making this ALOT!!!

hobby baker said...

I'm so glad to hear you liked it! Yes, the crust is very tweakable, I've used other nuts too and added in some ginger once in a while. (Flax seed meal is a good xanthan replacement for recipes that call for it for binding when there is a liquid). We love this and now's the weather for a nice cool dessert for us; guess I'll have to whip one up pretty soon. ☺

Lexi said...

I made this as 'cupcakes' and it turned out really well. I used 1 heaping Tbs of crust in each and it made 16 cups. I used Splenda instead of erythritol and even with cutting the measurement in 1/2 it is almost too sweet (too artificial tasting). I'm going to try less next time. I also am in the process of freezing some, and they're really great frozen, they're like mini ice cream open sandwiches :) Also, I should note that if you have extra crust, 1 Tbs in the bottom of foil cups baked until light brown make really tasty cookies!! I'll be doing another trial run in a couple weeks to try to get it down before my son's first birthday party. Thanks for a great recipe!

hobby baker said...

I'm so glad you liked it and that it worked as minis! And so smart to make cookies out of your extra crust. Good idea! Yes, it would take much less Splenda since that is sweeter than sugar and erythritol. I just don't use Splenda anymore since it has been found to kill intestinal flora. I spend too much on good probiotics to be killing them off with splenda. That and I don't like the aftertaste. ;) Stevia also has a bitter aftertaste if you use too much or certain brands. With sugar substitutes the best flavor comes from a blend. A touch of honey does wonders to round things out. Medjool date paste is also a great natural sweetener to avoid the refined sugar.

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