Just 15 minutes after the very first Cheesecake Factory opened in Beverly Hills back in 1978, the lines began forming. Here's their cheesecake twist on the delicious Key lime pie. Since Key limes and Key lime juice can be hard to find, this recipe uses standard lime juice, which can be purchased bottled or squeezed fresh. If you can find Key lime juice, bear in mind that Key limes are more tart, and use only half as much juice. This recipes also requires a springform pan. If you don't have one, you can use two 9-inch pie pans and make two smaller cheesecakes.
1 3/4 cups graham cracker crumbs
5 tablespoons butter, melted
1 cup plus 1 tablespoon sugar
Three 8-ounce packages cream cheese, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup fresh lime juice (about 5 limes)
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Make the crust by combining the graham cracker crumbs with the butter and 1 tablespoon sugar in a medium bowl. Stir well enough to coat all of the crumbs with the butter; keep it crumbly.
2. Press the crumbs onto the bottom and about one half of the way up the sides of an 8-inch springform pan. You don't want the crust to form all the way up the back of each slice of cheesecake. Bake the crust for 5 minutes, then set it aside until you are ready to fill it.
3. In a large mixing bowl combine the cream cheese, 1 cup sugar, and vanilla. Mix with an electric mixer until smooth.
4. Add the lime juice and eggs and continue to beat until smooth and creamy.
5. Pour the filling into the pan. Bake for 60 to 70 minutes. If the top of the cheesecake is turning light brown, it's done. Remove from the oven and allow it to cool.
6. When the cheesecake has come to room temperature, put it into the refrigerator. When the cheesecake has chilled, remove the pan sides and slice the cake. Serve with a generous dollop of whipped cream on top.
Source: Wilbur, Todd. A Treasury of Top Secret Recipes. 1999.