I love Key lime pie. Lime and creaminess, and a flakey crust, what more could you want? I mean apple pie is great as well, and there are many other great pie recipes out there, but I really love lemon tarts, key lime pie, lemon curd, and so on. I think I also like lemony flavors so much because my Mom or my Gran occasionally made lemon curd tarts. I mean, the real lemon curd, with egg yolks over a water boiler. So tasty. I mean yes, it’s very rich, but so tasty, and apart from that it only ever was a special treat.
I’ve made my version of a lazy lemon tartlet, using premade tart shells and bought lemon curd (from Wilkins, which is really really good). A lime tart, or key lime sans meringue (my least favorite part of key lime pie), now that would be delicious goodness. And I’m not making a whole pie that will then tempt me to eat it. But I think I found a solution: Key Lime Cheesecakes with Pretzel Crust. Plus, small little portions make it the perfect dessert to bring along to a party or a cookout.
The traditional key lime pie isn’t made with a pretzel crust, but that bit of saltiness gives it a great bite. The ingredient list is pretty straightforward, and it’s a no bake (!!) cake so you can easily whip it up when you have surprise guests stopping by. Or when you need a dessert fix.
I had a hankering for key lime pie, but really, there were so many fresh strawberries at the farmer’s market, I just couldn’t pass them up. And since it’s blueberry season too, these two fruit deserved to be highlighted. The idea of layering a ‘cake’ into your glass could easily be used for those fruit.
Since my last attempt at making ricotta had been so successful, I decided to make goat cheese ricotta. I used 4 cups of goat milk, and 2 cups of regular cow’s milk, plus the 2 cups of whipping cream. The resulting ricotta was softer, and I drained it longer. It still was pretty soft, but after a sojourn in the fridge it developed a nice creamy consistency, without being too soft. I then added maple syrup to sweeten the ricotta to my taste. I didn’t need to add any lime juice or lime zest since the ricotta was plenty tangy.
Instead of pretzel crust, I decided to make my crust out of cookies. I made two versions – one with a crust made out of plain thin butter cookies, and one with a crust made out of rosemary cookies. I figured the rosemary would be a nice contrast to the fruit. I then added a few dollops of the ricotta, layered in some more cookies. For the non-rosemary cookie fraction I used crushed amaretti. Then I topped it off with strawberries, and a few more blueberries on top and cookies, and then decorated with powdered sugar and mint.
This was so ridiculously delicious. It was such an easy and quick dessert. I’m really glad I made the rosemary cookie version for myself. The rosemary was a good compliment to the berries and the ricotta, without adding extra sweetness. You could probably even add a little bit of thyme to the fruit layers.
I love this ‘cake.’ This will be my substitute for buying those little tartlets, like those Whole Foods mini key lime pies.