There is nothing sublime about a lime. Until it is matched with other things, that is. It often has to share the “limelight”, shall we say. Throwing away a lime without zesting it is a culinary crime — the zest can add flavor wherever the lime is being used. Lime’s acidity somehow brightens up whatever it touches – in this cheesecake recipe, the lime and the banana are paired then heated up with chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, which are simply smoked jalapenos in vinegar, herbs and spices.
Lime, Banana & Chipotle Cheesecake
by Carrie Hirsch (Serves 12-14)
• 2 cups plain graham crackers, crumbled
• 1 stick butter, melted
• 3 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, seeds removed
• 12 ounces cream cheese, softened
• 1 1/2 cups sugar, plus 1 tablespoon
• Juice of 3 limes
• Zest of 3 limes
• 3 eggs, separated
• 3 ripe bananas, mashed
• Whipped cream
• Mint leaves, finely chopped
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Process graham crackers, butter and chipotle peppers in food processor. Press mixture onto the bottom and up the sides of a buttered 10-inch spring-form pan (it will only come up about 1” on the sides). In a medium bowl, beat together cream cheese, 1 ½ cups sugar, chipotle peppers, lime juice and zest. Beat in egg yolks and mashed bananas until well incorporated. In a separate chilled bowl, beat egg whites until soft peaks form, then beat in the remaining 1 tablespoon of sugar. Fold into the cream cheese mixture.
Bake for 60-70 minutes or until done and nicely browned on top. If cracks appear during baking, that is fine. Allow to cool thoroughly, then cover and refrigerate. Serve with whipped cream and chopped mint leaves.