There seems to always be another Key lime recipe to try, and this one is worth pulling out the muffin tin for. It’s a small size of the original cheesecake crowned with a party-perfect topping of delicious lime mousse that tastes surprisingly like the traditional Key lime pie filling. The authentic Key lime pie recipe does not add color to the lime filling. Junior’s doesn’t either, but if you want a hint of a greenish tint, add 1 or 2 drops of green food coloring — no more. Go ahead and double the recipe — these little cakes freeze well.–Alan Rosen and Beth Allen
Key Lime Little Fellas Recipe
Hands-On Time: | Total Time: | Makes one dozen little fellas
- For the cheesecake
- Two 8-ounce packages cream cheese (use only full fat), at room temperature
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 3 tablespoons cornstarch
- 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
- 2 extra-large eggs
- 1/3 cup heavy or whipping cream
- 1 teaspoon grated lime rind
- For the decorator's whipped cream
- 1 teaspoon unflavored granulated gelatin
- 1 tablespoon cold water
- 1 cup cold heavy or whipping cream
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- For the lime mousse
- 1 recipe Decorator’s Whipped Cream
- 1/4 cup frozen limeade concentrate, thawed just until spoonable
- 1 to 2 drops green food coloring (optional)
- Make the cheesecakes
- 1. Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C). Line 12 standard muffin cups with silicone, foil, parchment, or paper liners.
- 2. Put one package of the cream cheese, 1/4 cup of the sugar, and the cornstarch in a large bowl. Beat with an electric mixer on low until creamy, about 3 minutes, scraping down the bowl a few times. Blend in the remaining package of cream cheese. Increase the mixer speed to medium and beat in the remaining 1/2 cup sugar, then the vanilla. Blend in the eggs, one at a time, beating well after adding each one. Beat in the cream just until it’s completely blended. Be careful not to overmix! Stir in the lime rind.
- 3. Divide the batter among the 12 muffin cups. Place the muffin tin in a large shallow pan and add hot water until it comes about 1 inch up the sides of the tin. Bake the cakes until set and the centers are slightly puffy and golden, about 45 minutes.
- 4. Remove the cakes from the water bath, transfer the tin to a wire rack, and let cool for 2 hours. Cover the cakes with plastic wrap (do not remove from the pan) and put in the freezer until cold, or for at least 1 hour. Don’t worry if they settle a little in the center; you’ll be filling it with lime mousse.
- 5. To remove the cakes, lift them out of the cups with your hands and peel off the liners. Place the cakes, top side up, on a serving platter or individual dessert plates.
- Make the decorator’s whipped cream
- 6. Place the gelatin in a heatproof measuring cup, stir in the cold water, and let stand until it swells and thickens (this takes only about 1 minute). Cook the gelatin in the microwave on high for about 30 seconds or over a pan of simmering water for about 1 minute, until clear and completely melted.
- 7. In a medium-size bowl, whip the cream with an electric mixer on high until it thickens and soft peaks just begin to form. With the mixer still running, add the sugar and beat just until the cream stands up in peaks (don’t overmix or the cream will curdle). Beat in the vanilla. Now, add the melted gelatin all at once and beat until thoroughly incorporated. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes but not more than 1 hour.
- Make the lime mousse
- 8. To make the lime mousse, have the Decorator’s Whipped Cream ready, then stir in the limeade concentrate (it’s best if it’s still slightly frozen). Add the food coloring, if you wish. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
- 9. Fit a pastry bag with a medium closed-star tip (#31) or a medium open-star tip (#32), pack it with the lime mousse, and pipe the lime mousse on top of each Little Fella, finishing each off with a “star” rosette on top. If you don’t have time for piping the decorations, place about 2 tablespoonfuls of lime mousse in the center of each little cake. Using the small pointed end of a paring knife, make deep swirls in the mousse, finishing each off in a high peak in the center.
- 10. Refrigerate until ready to serve. If there are any cakes left, cover with plastic wrap and store in the refrigerator, or wrap and freeze for up to 1 month.
Key Lime Little Fellas Recipe © 2007 Junior's Cheesecake, Inc. Photo © 2007 Mark Ferri. All rights reserved.