Gluten-Free Key Lime Strawberry Cheesecake

by theresa on July 25, 2011

a gluten-free graham cracker crust makes this favorite enjoyable by everyone

My family is a real challenge to cook for. In addition to our gluten-free diets, my dad is on a low-fat diet, my mom is diabetic and my sister and brother are lactose intolerant. So whenever we get together, instead of trying to make something that everyone can eat, we sort of divvy up the work and each bring something that we can eat. I was in charge of dessert at a recent gathering. With both key limes and strawberries in season right now, I decided to try making a cheesecake that combined the two. It turned out great and was a huge hit. My kids want me to make it again tonight. I don’t know about tonight, but I guess I’d better get on it while I can still get both fruits fresh and in season.

Not Gluten Free? No problem! You can just use regular graham cracker crumbs and flour. Everything else in this recipe is the same.

Special Notes:
You don’t have to add the coconut to the crust if you don’t want to, but it really enhances the flavor, so I recommend it!

Kinnikinnick makes simply the best gluten-free graham style crumbs I’ve ever tried. But if you cannot get them locally, you can just crush some gluten-free cookies in your food processor and get a cookie crumb crust.

Ingredients

Crust
1-1/4 cup gluten-free graham cracker type crumbs
1/4 cup shredded unsweetened coconut
3 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon key lime zest
6 tablespoons butter, melted

Filling
3 8-ounce packages of cream cheese, softened
1 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk
1/4 cup sugar
1 cup fresh squeezed key lime juice
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 tablespoon key lime zest
3 tablespoons gluten-free all purpose baking flour
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon xanthan gum
3 eggs

Strawberries
1-1/2 pints of strawberries, hulled and cut in half
1/2 cup apricot preserves
2 tablespoons brandy

Garnish
4 ounces cream cheese, softened
2 tablespoons butter, softened
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Instructions

Step 1 – Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and spray a 9-inch springform pan with non-stick cooking spray. Set aside.

Step 2 – Mix together gluten-free graham cracker crumbs, coconut, sugar, and key lime zest with a fork. Add melted butter and stir until well combined. Press into the bottom of prepared springform pan and about 1/3 of the way up the side. Bake at 350 degrees for 8 minutes. Remove and cool on wire rack.

Step 3 –Beat cream cheese on medium speed until fluffy. Gradually add sweetened condensed milk and sugar until smooth, but do not overbeat. Add lime juice, vanilla extract and key lime zest and beat until smooth.

Step 4 – In a separate bowl, whisk together gluten-free flour, cornstarch, salt and xanthan gum. Mix in flour mixture until just combined, scraping sides and bottom of bowl. Add eggs and mix until just combined.

Step 5 – Set crust in a shallow baking pan. Pour filling into prepared crust. Bake at 325 degrees on middle rack for 1 hour 10 minutes. Remove from oven and pan and transfer springform pan to wire rack to cool completely.  When completely cool, remove from pan and transfer to serving plate.

Step 6 – Arrange strawberry halves, cut side down, on top of the cheesecake, in concentric circles starting at the edge and moving towards the center, leaving 1/2 inch at the outer edge free of strawberries. In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine apricot preserves and brandy until mixture boils. Drizzle glaze over strawberries.

Step 7 – Combine cream cheese, butter, vanilla and powdered sugar in a medium-sized bowl with a hand mixer. Put into a pastry bag with a medium-sized star tip and pipe stars onto the exposed 1/2 inch edge of cheesecake. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Makes: 1 9-inch cheesecake

 

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