Tropical Coconut Cheesecake

Good evening! It is another gorgeous day here in MI and I am enjoying it while I type up this post on my balcony.  I had planned to go running after work, but I am just not acclimated to the heat yet, so decided to wait until a little later in hopes that it will cool off a bit.

I went running after work yesterday- just 2.25 miles – and it was brutal.  My time ended up being okay, but I could tell the heat just got to me a little and I had to walk a couple times. and felt terrible afterwards.  Once my body temp got all the way back down to normal I starting feeling better, but sheesh!

We went to Team Trivia last night and ended up in 2nd place again! We weren’t even in the top 3 at the final question, but wagered the max allowable points and made a come back! It really is a blast and it’s kind of nice to get out and about during the week.

As promised here is the recipe for the Tropical Coconut Cheesecake I made almost a month ago (sorry I’ve been so terrible at keeping up on recipe posts!).  This really is super easy to make, gluten free, and very, very tasty!

IMG_0940
Coconut Crust
IMG_0943
IMG_0956 The unbaked cheesecake (above) and the final product

Tropical Coconut Cheesecake

Ingredients

Crust:

2 C sweetened flake coconut (unsweetened would probably be good too as the cheesecake did turn out pretty sweet due to the sweetened condensed milk)

1 Tbs granulated sugar

Lime zest, grated from 1/2 of a lime

2 Tbs butter, softened

Filling:

3 (8 oz) pkgs reduced fat cream cheese, softened

1 (14 oz) can sweetened condensed milk

3 eggs

3 Tbs lime juice

1 1/2 tsp vanilla

Lime zest, grated from 1/2 of a lime

2 Tbs cornstarch

1 C pineapple-mango fruit spread (or other tropical jam)

Garnish – optional:

1 ripe mango, peeled and sliced

1 lime, thinly sliced

Whipped Cream

Directions

Heat oven to 350 degrees.

Toss together coconut, sugar, and lime zest in a medium bowl. Add butter and stir until crumbly.  Press mixture into bottom and up sides of a 9″ non-stick spring form pan.  Bake for 10-12 minutes, until light brown.  Allow to cool completely.

Reduce oven temperature to 300 degrees.

Beat cream cheese until smooth with an electric mixer on medium speed in a large mixing bowl. Gradually beat in sweetened condensed milk, beating until smooth.  Add eggs, lime juice, vanilla extract, lime zest, and cornstarch, mixing until well combined.

Pour cream cheese mixture into prepared crust. Stir fruit spread until smooth, drop dollops of fruit spread or jam on top of filling.  Gently swirl jam with a knife until top of filling appears marbleized.

Bake for 55 to 60 minutes, or until center is set when pan is jiggled.  Place pan on wire rack to cool completely.  Cover and refrigerate for 8 hours or overnight.

*I placed a casserole dish filled halfway with water on the oven rack below the cheesecake (a modified water bath if you will).  This did help keep the cheesecake moist, but mine still cracked.  I think I simply overbaked it – being a novice cheesecake maker was my problem I think.

On tonight’s agenda in addition to running – some housework, catching up on Grey’s Anatomy, and reading.  Noah’s in Traverse City for work so I’m a bachelorette for the next couple days – which means I eat random stuff and don’t cook dinner.  Tonight’s dinner was some sweet potato tortilla chips and cottage cheese with Tony Packo’s Sweet Hot Pickles and Peppers! Weird, but delicious!

 

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