Baked Key Lime Cheesecake—Prototype 2:
Increase the key lime ingredients—this time, I zested and juiced about a dozen key limes (nearly 1/2 of a one-pound bag) for this prototype. I was initially going to boost the batter's sugar to 1 7/8 cups and its xanthan gum to 1 1/4 teaspoons.

At some point, however, I picked up the idea of using sweetened condensed milk from some kind of key lime cheesecake dessert—probably bars—that I came across on the Internet. I felt that adding this ingredient would give my own cheesecake more of an authentic "key lime
pie" style. My usage of this liquid prompted me to boost the xanthan gum yet further. I also felt that I should bake this latest prototype in multiple installments.
3-Cheese Blend (1CT-1NC-1YG):
Prepare ahead of time 16 ounces of yogurt cheese, derived from one 32-ounce container of nonfat yogurt. If the resulting yogurt cheese falls below 16 ounces, add back enough of the whey (that was strained out from the yogurt) to make up the difference. To this yogurt cheese combine 16 ounces of whipped, lowfat cottage cheese and 16 ounces (two 8-ounce packages) of softened Neufchatel cheese ("light cream cheese").

Grease a 9 1/2" (or 9") springform pan, but do not wrap foil around it yet (see below).

2 oz. melted, white chocolate
8 oz. (1 cup) 3-cheese blend (see above)
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
2 oz. All-Bran, ground up

Place the resulting mixture in the greased pan and pre-bake without tub at 300 degrees for 30 minutes, then cool enough to comfortably touch at least the pan's upper sidewall.

1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
40 oz. (5 cups) 3-cheese blend (see above)
2 teaspoons vanilla
1/3 cup key lime juice
1 tablespoon grated key lime zest (peel)
14-ounce can of sweetened condensed milk
2 teaspoons xanthan gum
6 eggs (brown recommended, large)

Expect close to 8 1/2 cups of the resulting batter, but do not add this to the pan all at once. Rather, this needs to be done in four installments. Wrap the pan in foil just before adding the first batter installment (to minimize the foil's disturbance and therefore its leakage risk, do not put it on any earlier).

For each of the first three installments, gently scoop about 2 1/2 cups of batter into the pan, fully covering the surface (here's a tip—scoop small amounts of batter around the edge of the pan, letting this batter flow towards the middle on its own), and then bake this pan with its contents for 25 minutes, at 325 degrees. However, at the end of the third installment's 25 minutes, add on another 10 minutes of baking time, but only at 300 degrees (that's a 35 minute "baking installment"—the first 25 minutes at 325 degrees and the next 10 at 300). For these three installments here, bake with the pan in a tub filled with at least 1/4 to 1/2 inch of boiling water, but (to reduce spillage risks) do not fill the tub all the way at this point, because the whole tub-and-pan assembly is going to need to be removed from the oven (in order to comfortably add contents to the pan) between installments.

After these first three installments are done, there should be about 1 cup of batter left, with 85 minutes of baking time reached at this point (25 minutes for each of the first two installments, and 35 for the third one). Now comes the fourth installment—carefully add the last of this batter on top of the pan's earlier installments, fully coating the entire surface. Next, return the entire pan-and-tub assembly to the oven, with the temperature remaining at 300 degrees. At this point, fill up the tub generously with boiling water. Resume baking for another 75 minutes (based upon usage of a 9 1/2" pan).

Afterward, shut the oven off, and leave its door slightly ajar, with the cheesecake still inside—and in the tub—for an hour. Next, remove the cheesecake from the oven and tub. Continue to cool it down at room temperature for another two hours. After doing so, remove the cheesecake from pan and refrigerate.

Key Lime Cheesecake—Prototype 2

I could more easily taste the key lime in this one. However, I felt that the batter could use some more firmness (perhaps another 1/4 teaspoon of xanthan gum and additional baking for next time). Despite the increased pre-baking time for the crust, that one still seemed too soft. It was also sort of sticky (separating it from the pan's bottom was a disappointing experience).

But this cheesecake went over quite well with my fellow associates at The Home Depot when I served it there at a Memorial Day cookout in late May of 2023.

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