Saturday, January 1, 2011

Sugar Free Cheesecake

We pretty much try to eat low carb as much as possible. While we're not real anal about it (especially this time of year), we do make a concerted effort.

Basically, this means we try to avoid sugar, wheat and most starchy vegetables. We haven't found this too difficult, but every once in a while, the desire for yummy sweet desserts overcomes us.

And when it does, I usually make us a cheesecake.

Since we avoid wheat, we can't have the regular crust (graham crackers, vanilla wafers, whatever). Sometimes I just make a crustless cheesecake, but I really prefer a crust, so I've found a great substitute in almond meal. It has the consistency of flour, but is high in fiber and low in carbs. You can either buy it pre-ground, or run it through your food processor. For my crust, I melt some butter and mix it with the almond meal, press it into a spring form pan and bake it for about ten minutes, just enough to give it a bit of color.

For the filling, I use three 8 ounce packs of cream cheese (room temperature) three eggs (also room temperature) 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla and the equivalent of one and one half cups of sugar. Since we don't eat sugar, we use Splenda, which bakes up just fine. If you like a bit of tartness (which we do) you can also add three tablespoons of lime juice.

Right here, I'd like to mention a product we first found in New Mexico called Nellie and Joe's Key West Lime Juice. I have to tell you, this is the very best seasoning I've ever found. For years, I used fresh lemons or limes when I needed that bit of tart zip. Like almost everyone else, I had tried that gross liquid that comes in the little plastic lemons and limes and was disgusted. It just doesn't taste like anything real, more like some concoction of chemicals that try to resemble citrus.

Then one day, I saw Nelie and Joe's and decided to give it a try, and my culinary life changed forever.

This juice is like nothing else I've ever used. It really does taste like fresh lime juice, and it keeps for a really long time when refrigerated. I use it in salad dressing, for a marinade, in making dips for different fish (I love it mixed with sour cream and dill and drizzled over salmon). It's also excellent in drinks.

Give it a try, it's superb.

Okay, back to the cheesecake. You take all the filling ingredients and mix them till they're creamy smooth. Since I'm not afraid of raw eggs, at this point I give it a taste, just to make sure that it's sweet or tart enough. Then you put it in the baked pie shell and stick it in a 350 degree oven for one hour. You want it to be firm but not hard, if that makes any sense.

When the cake is done, take about a cup of sour cream, sweeten it up with some Splenda and add a heavy dose of lime juice. You have to do this by taste as everyone likes it different. I like to have this topping really tart, as I think the bite it gives the cake is a nice touch, but you might want it sweet. It's up to you.

Once you have the sour cream topping to your taste, just spread it on to the top of the cheesecake. Put the cake in the fridge for a couple of hours, and when it's all firm and set up, you can take this anywhere and no one will ever guess you've left out the sugar.



ThE MidLiFe CrUiSeR said...

With a name like that, was there any doubt the lime juice would be amazing?? :) So what's in it? I also hate the crappy one in the lime or lemon shaped bottle. Your cheesecake looks mouthwatering!

Kate said...

The lime juice ingredients are listed as Key West Lime Juice from concentrate and less than 1/10 of 1 percent sodium benzoate as a preservative.

It really is delicious.


Malone said...

between reading about your cheesecake and reviewing my year with memories of Key Lime Pie, I think I have to go dig out my bottle of Nellie and Joe's (bought in Key West actually) and make a Key Lime Pie Cheesecake. with sugar. but maybe an almond crust.

Traveler said...

I was wondering how I was going to get some of that lime juice since I don't plan on making it to Florida anytime soon. I found it on! I wonder if any of my local grocers carry it - I think I will be on the lookout as I agree with ya'll about the taste of those squeezy things. Thanks for the recipe.