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Lime Cheesecake with Blackberry Sauce

  My mother is lovely.

  She does numerous loads of dishes to keep up with my kitchen craziness, gently tolerates me when I'm in a funky not-speaking mood, nudges and kicks me when necessary, and smiles quietly when I go off on a baking rant about something-or-other.

  Obviously this lady deserves a cheesecake for breakfast on Mother's Day.

  I made this labor of love last year, but I wasn't satisfied with the results.  I got a resounding amount of ooh's and ahh's, but the appearance and crust-to-filling proportions were less than stellar.

  This time round, I halved the amount of crust and tried a 10-inch springform.  I think I'll go back to the 9-inch next time, but I was satisfied with the crust not taking over the cake.

  If you want to make 6 mini 4-inch cheesecakes, double the crust recipe below.  The original recipe was for little cheesecakes, which is why the proportions were a little out of whack when I tried just making a 9-inch cheesecake.  Weird things happen when you switch around pan sizes and capacities.

  That being said, this is a fricken amazing cheesecake.  My sisters and I greedily sat around the last small piece, picking it apart with our forks.  My sister Carol commented, "I don't even like cheesecake.  Or limes!!"

  This thing is stupid creamy and filled with the fresh tang of lime.  The sweet blackberry sauce absolutely compliments that tartness.

  There are few things that my mom requests, but this cheesecake is one of them.  For the sauce, I just cook until the berries are releasing juices, but still mostly intact.  This way, I have a sort of fresh blackberry preserve thing going on.

  She likes the crunch of the seeds, so she shall have her seeds.  But you can cook longer and strain through a fine mesh sieve if you're not a seed fan.  You'll have a more drizzle-y sauce. 

  Happy Mum's Day, I love you Mom!

Lime Cheesecake with Blackberry Sauce
Yield: one 9 or 10-inch cheesecake, or six 4-inch cheesecakes

Ingredients for the crust (if making the six 4-inch mini cheesecakes, double these amounts):
  • 1 cup graham cracker crumbs
  • 3 tbsp. sugar
  • 3 tbsp. unsalted butter, melted

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

Ingredients 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 or 10-inch springform pan (or six 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), a slight jiggle is preferable if you want an especially creamy cheesecake.  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 (Press the mixture through a fine mesh sieve to remove the seeds, if desired).  The sauce will thicken slightly as it cools.  Can be made ahead and stored in the refrigerator.

Drizzle the blackberry sauce over the cheesecake before serving.

Sources: adapted from Annie's Eats, who adapted it from Use Real Butter, originally from The Good Housekeeping Illustrated Book of Desserts