Lime and ginger cheesecake

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Today, to finish our long weekend in style, I made this lime and ginger cheesecake – my take on the classic recipe made with cream cheese, condensed milk and lemon juice. What makes this recipe a bit different is the use of ginger biscuits and pecan nuts in the crumb crust, which adds a little bit of spicy heat in contrast to the sweet filling. It’s such a simple recipe and a great one for kids to try when they first start cooking, because a good result is almost guaranteed, and no baking or using a stove is necessary. All three of my kids made it successfully when they were around 10. I was also really excited recently to find some gluten free ginger nut biscuits that tasted fantastic (there’s still a lot of gluten free, wheat free, dairy free, taste free products out there, unfortunately) at my local supermarket. When there is a coeliac in the family, dessert making becomes quite challenging, and I am always on the lookout for ways to adapt dessert recipes to suit those who need to eat gluten free.  When combined with pecan nuts and melted butter these biscuits make a really good crumb crust for pies and cheesecakes, and they are now a staple at our place. If you don’t need to eat gluten free, just use regular ginger nut biscuits.

Serves 10 – 12

150 g ginger nut biscuits
75 g pecan nuts
100 g butter, melted
250 g cream cheese, at room temperature
395 g tin of condensed milk
grated zest and juice of 2 medium limes
extra strips of lime zest for garnish

In a food processor, process the biscuits, pecan nuts and butter until they form a coarse crumb. Press into the base of a 22 cm round spring form tin that has been lightly greased with a little extra butter. Put in the refrigerator to set while you make the filling. In a medium sized bowl beat together the cream cheese, lime zest and condensed milk until very smooth. Gradually beat in the lime juice, a little at a time. Pour the filling into the tin and smooth the top with a spatula. There will be little flakes of lime zest visible all through the filling, promising bursts of tanginess in every mouthful. Return to the refrigerator and chill for at least an hour. Just before serving sprinkle the top of the cheesecake with some strips of lime zest. I went nuts because we have a lime tree that is bearing prolifically, but even a small pile of zest in the middle of the cheesecake looks very pretty. The cheesecake will keep for a couple of days, covered, in the fridge.

Printable version: Lime and ginger cheesecake