A number of years ago, I was the editor of a rural weekly newspaper. As part of that job, I was expected to be the face of the newspaper in the community especially for events such as fundraisers or events where local businesses were participating.
During one of those fundraising events, my talents as a cook were auctioned out to the highest bidder. One of the two times I did this, I pulled off a Habanero Orange Cheesecake. It was good, but a tad bit too spicy for a dessert. So I decided that Jalapeno and Lime was a much better flavour combo.
The fun thing about this recipe is that it only needs a small change to from gluten filled to GF. This is definitely one of those times that GF does not mean Taste Free!
Jalapeno Lime Cheesecake
1 1/2 cups (350 g) graham cracker crumbs
1/3 cup (80 g) melted butter
4 jalapeno peppers
9 oz. (250 g) sugar
3 8-ounce (675 g) packages cream cheese
2 tbsp. (30 ml) heavy cream
- The first step is to boil water to place in a pan on the bottom rack of your preheated oven at 400 degrees. The next step is to either crush about 20 graham crackers in crumbs or use about 1.5 cups of graham cracker crumbs to mix with the melted butter to form your crust just lining the bottom of a 9-inch springform pan.
- Using disposable gloves destem and deseed your jalapenos. Once done with that, place them along with two tablespoons of sugar into a food processor to create a coarse paste. This can also be done with a mortar and pestle if you have one.
- Slowly beat the cream cheese together until it is smooth. After blending in the sugar, beat in the eggs one by one until the mixture is smooth. Add in the cream and blend before zesting one lemon.
- To zest a citrus fruit, you use a zester or a very coarse grater and basically scrape off the outside of the skin until you hit the white of the fruit. Don’t go below the white as that is usually bitter.
- Then blend in the zest from one lime and the juice that lime and another. Blend this well before blending in the jalapeno paste.
- Pour the filling into the springform pan and then gently tap the pan on the counter to remove air bubbles.
- Bake the cheesecake for about an hour or until it starts to separate from the sides; make sure to keep the pan of boiling water underneath the cheesecake. The added moisture from the steam should keep the cheesecake from drying out and cracking.
- Let the cheesecake cool outside of the oven for 20 minutes before placing in your refrigerator overnight. Before serving slice the third lemon into thin pieces and place one slice on each piece.
Some interesting variations –
For a deeper flavour mixture, you can roast the jalapenos slowly over an open flame. After putting them in a plastic bag, the skin will loosen and you should be able to peel the blackened skin right off the pepper. This should be done before you puree them with the sugar.
Also if you would like to give this a completely feel, use GF chocolate creme-filled cookies for the crust and sprinkle cocoa powder lightly over the top of the cheesecake after you pull it out of the oven. You could also put thin chocolate shavings on each slice. This version would be stupendous with habanero and orange!