Margarita Cheesecake

I love a good fresh lime margarita. It’s that combination of bright citrusy lime, the salty rim, and a good quality tequila that makes this drink such a treat, it’s a vacation in a glass. Good tequila is an important part of making a delicious margarita, something smooth and well-balanced can make all the difference. A straight shot of tequila is one risk that I’ll leave to my younger years. These days, I enjoy my tequila in a mixed drink or in my cheesecake.

There’s not a ton of tequila in here, just enough for flavor, really, which is why you’ll want to choose a good tequila. Much like cooking with wine, it’s important to select a tequila that you’d also like to drink. A silver or blanco tequila will do the trick, about ¼ cup.

I think one of my favorite parts of this margarita cheesecake is that it’s no-bake, in fact, it’s my freezer that does all the baking. And I think that makes the cheesecake even more like it’s cocktail, which is typically served chilled, either blended or on the rocks. A cheesecake usually starts with a graham cracker crust and that’s no different here, although I’ve decided to use brown sugar in my crust rather than granulated. I like the depth and warmth that the brown sugar contributes. While the crust chills in the freezer, I turn my attention to the filling. Cream cheese, fresh lime juice, a good tequila, sugar, and salt are mixed until smooth, then poured into my chilled crust. I like to garnish the top with a little bit of fresh lime zest and, just like in the cocktail, I’ll garnish the top of the cheesecake with coarse sea salt. One more hour in the freezer and I’m ready to serve up a slice of margarita cheesecake.

This margarita cheesecake has all those classic elements of the cocktail but served up in sweet, creamy cheesecake form. Fresh lime juice, tequila, and a bit of salt are transformed into a refreshing dessert. Whether you’re celebrating Cinco de Mayo or you’re recognizing National Margarita Day in February, this margarita cheesecake the perfect way to pay homage to this classic beverage.

Margarita Cheesecake

15 minutes active, 1 hour + 15 minutes inactive to prepare serves 6-8

Ingredients

  • 2 (8 oz) packages cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 limes, juiced
  • ¼ cup tequila, premium silver recommended
  • 2 tablespoons lime zest
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • For the crust:
  • 10 graham cracker sheets
  • ¼ cup brown sugar, sifted
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, melted
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • Coarse sea salt, garnish

Preparation

  1. Lightly grease an 8-inch round springform pan with cooking spray. Place a circular sheet of wax paper on the bottom of the pan and set aside.
  2. Use a food processor and pulse graham crackers until finely crushed. Or, put the graham crackers into a plastic bag, cover it with a kitchen towel and use a rolling pin to crush the crackers into a fine grain-like texture.
  3. Combine graham crackers, brown sugar, salt, and melted butter in a large bowl, stir until graham crackers become sand-like in texture.
  4. Gently press the graham cracker crumbles into the springform pan, pressing evenly to the sides of the pan. Freeze for 12-15 minutes.
  5. Stir cream cheese, kosher salt, sugar, tequila, and lime juice until smooth.
  6. Take the pie crust from the freezer. Pour the filling into the prepared pie crust, spreading it evenly to the sides. Sprinkle the top with the lime zest and sea salt. Freeze again for 1 hour.
  7. To serve, carefully remove the springform and transfer the cheesecake to a serving platter or cutting board. Use a knife to slice. Cheers!

Recipe adapted from If You Give A Blonde A Kitchen.

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