Instead of drinking a margarita this past Sunday for Cinco de Mayo I opted to bake one instead in the form of a cheesecake. While this was a great dessert to celebrate Cinco de Mayo, the light lime flavor also makes it perfect for the upcoming warmer months of the summer.
I began by making the crust. I crushed Nilla Wafers into crumbs and then combined it with melted butter and then pressed it into the bottom and up the sides of a 9-inch springform pan. I then placed it in the refrigerator until the cheesecake mixture was ready. While I used Nilla Wafers for my crust, you could opt to get the salty rim of a traditional margarita in the form of a crust made with crushed pretzels instead.
Using a hand mixer I bet three room temperature 8oz. blocks of cream cheese until it was light and fluffy. I then added in sour cream, sugar, Grand Marnier, tequila, freshly squeezed lime juice and lime zest. I continued beating everything on medium speed until it was well combined. I then added in four eggs one at a time. On the off chance you taste the filling and think that it’s too much alcohol don’t worry, the alcohol flavor will burn off while the cheesecake is baking. On the converse side, if you feel like it’s not enough now would be the time to add in more.
I poured the filling into the prepared pan and then placed it on a baking sheet and baked it in a 350 F preheated oven for about 50 minutes, or until the center was just set.
A few minutes before removing the cheesecake from the oven I combined sugar, lime juice and sour cream in a small bowl. After removing the cheesecake from the oven I spread this sour cream mixture over the cheesecake and then placed it back in the oven for an additional five minutes. This gives the cheesecake a nice topping and one other thing I like about it, it hides any cracks.
I then placed the cheesecake on a wire rack to cool and then placed it in the refrigerator for a few hours for it to chill.
Before serving, I removed the ring from the pan and garnished the cheesecake with thin slices of lime.
1 1/4 cups vanilla wafer cookie crumbs*
1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
3 8oz. packages cream cheese, at room temperature
2 cups sour cream, divided
1 1/4 cups sugar
3 tablespoons Grand Marnier**
3 tablespoons gold tequila**
4 tablespoons lime juice, freshly squeezed
2 teaspoons lime zest
4 large eggs
Thin lime slices, for garnish
*I used Nilla Wafers
**I used the 5cl/50ml sized bottles. Each had exactly 3 tablespoons. For the tequila, I used Jose Cuervo Gold.
Preheat the oven to 350 F. Mix the cookie crumbs and butter in a medium bowl until well blended. Press the crumbs onto the bottom and 1-inch up the side of a 9-inch springform pan. Refrigerate.
In a large bowl beat the cream cheese with a hand mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy. Add in 1 cup of sour cream, 1 cup of sugar, Grand Marnier, tequila, 3 tablespoons of the lime juice and the lime zest and beat until well combined. Add in the eggs one at a time, beating until just blended after each addition.
Remove the pan from the refrigerator and pour the filling into the crust. Place on a baking sheet and bake until the center is just set, about 50 minutes. In a small bowl combine the remaining sour cream, sugar and lime juice and stir well to combine. Pour this over of the cheesecake and smooth with an offset spatula. Return the cheesecake to oven for an additional 5 minutes.
Transfer the cheesecake to a wire rack to cool completely and then chill in the refrigerator at least 4 hours prior to serving.
Before serving, remove the ring from the pan and garnish the cheesecake with the lime slices.
Recipe from Food Network