Petite Mascarpone Cheesecakes in jelly jars topped with sweet, tangy Key Lime Curd are an ideal 'just right' dessert for parties, as part of a dessert bar of when a little something sweet is all you want. Note on Total Recipe Time: the bulk of the total recipe time is for the chilling of the key lime curd which is 8 hours. This may be made in two sessions; one for the key lime curd and one for the cheesecakes.
Prep Time 30 minutesminutes
Cook Time 30 minutesminutes
Total Time 10 hourshours
Servings 124-ounce cheesecakes in jars and 2 cups key lime curd
Optional Garnish: small berries, small fresh mint leaves
Instructions for Key Lime Curd (click here for step by step photo of making citrus curd):
Mix sugar, cornstarch with lime juices in a saucepan with lid. Whisk in eggs. Heat on medium to medium high until boiling, stirring constantly.
Boil on medium until mixtures thickens to a custard consistency (about 2 minutes), stirring constantly careful to not let it scorch.
Remove from heat and mix in butter and lime zest. Place plastic wrap directly on the custard, cutting holes for venting (a bamboo skewer works great for this). Cover refrigerate at least 8 hours. Unused curd maybe be stored in the refrigerator, sealed, for two weeks or stored in the freezer for up to six months.
Instructions for Mini Mascarpone Cheesecakes:
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Spray jelly jars inside with non-stick cooking spray.
In a medium mixing bowl, add the graham cracker crumbs, 1 tablespoon of the sugar and the melted butter; stir to fully combine.
Spoon crust mixture evenly into the twelve prepared jars (approximately 1 tablespoon per jar). Tamp crust down with the back of a dining spoon or a wine cork (something with a flat bottom) to evenly distribute crust on the bottom of the jars.
In the bowl of a freestanding mixer, beat together the cream cheese, mascarpone cheese and remaining sugar (1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons) until smooth. Add the eggs, one at a time; blend until incorportated. Add the lime zest and vanilla extract; blend until fully combined.
Add the cheese mixture evenly to the jelly jars, filling to just below the lowest outer glass ring (approximately ¾ inches from the top of the jar; refer to photos).
Place jars in a 13 x 9 inch baking pan. Fill the pan with hot water until the water level reaches hallway up the outside of the jelly jars.
Place in preheated oven and bake for 30 minutes. Remove mini cheesecakes from the pan and allow to cool to room temperature on a cooling rack.
Finishing the Cheesecakes:
Spoon or pipe with a pastry bag and large decorative tip 2 1/2 tablespoons of lime curd on the top of each cheesecake. Chill before serving. Garnish with small berries and mint leaves (optional) before serving.