These awesome cheesecake bars are based off of this recipe by Baking Bites. I made my own modifications and will be taking the pan into work tomorrow. I love the refreshing zing of key limes in just about anything, but this lime curd is an especially complementary foil to a rich cheesecake batter. The delicate vanilla crust forms the perfect base for these bars.
Key Lime Swirled Cheesecake Bars
Makes 24 bars
For the crust:
5 1/2 cups vanilla wafer cookies (1 11-oz box)
2 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp vanilla extract
10 tbsp butter, melted and cooled
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Place the cookies in a food processor and run until the cookies are turned into crumbs. Add the sugar, vanilla, and butter, and pulse to combine well. Spread the mixture in a deep 9 inch by 13 inch glass baking pan. Press the crumbs firmly and evenly to form a tight crust.
Bake for 12-15 minutes, or until the edges of the crust are just starting to turn golden brown. Remove the pan to a cooling rack and let cool to room temperature.
For the key lime curd:
1/3 cup key lime juice (either strained, fresh juice, or I like Nellie & Joe’s Key Lime Juice)
1/3 cup sugar
1 large egg, room temperature
In a small metal bowl, beat the egg well and set aside. Pour the lime juice into a small saucepan. Add the sugar and dissolve it into the lime juice over medium low heat. When the sugar is completely dissolved, turn off the heat. Whisking constantly, pour the lime mixture into the bowl with the egg. Continue to whisk well for 1-2 minutes, until very smooth and well blended. Return the mixture to the saucepan and turn the heat to low. Simmer, continuing to whisk, until the mixture just starts to bubble and thicken. Pour the curd back into the bowl, cover with plastic, and refrigerate for 15-20 minutes.
For the cheesecake batter:
16 oz cream cheese (2 bars), at room temperature
1/2 cup sugar
4 large eggs
1 tbsp vanilla extract
3 tbsp all purpose flour
In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the cream cheese and sugar together until smooth. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula. Add the eggs and vanilla and beat again until well combined. Scrape down the sides of the bowl again. Add the flour and beat a final time until the mixture is smooth.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Pour the cheesecake batter over the cooled crust and smooth it evenly with a spatula. Spoon dollops of the key lime curd all over the top of the batter. Gently swirl the curd into the batter with a butter knife, making long passes back and forth and being careful to not cut the crust underneath.
Bake for 25-30 minutes, until the cheesecake is well set around the edges, just barely starting to turn golden brown at the edges, and only jiggles slightly in the middle when the pan is gently shaken.
Remove the pan to a cooling rack and let the bars cool completely before slicing. Serve at room temperature or chilled. Refrigerate any leftovers.
Emma quality testing the cheesecake batter.