This is a recipe I recreated from another recipe, I felt it needed more texture in the crust, and more flavor from the limes. It was originally in a graham pie shell. So I added a few ingredients, and played around with it, till I got the results I was looking for. With the two different layers, and more lime juice in one layer than the other, you really can appreciate the tart flavors. After my husband tasted this one, it then became his new favorite Key Lime Cheesecake pie, I was very pleased, since this one requires a lot more work than the other recipe. It then became worth all my efforts
TO MAKE THE CRUST: Mix all crust ingredients together, and pour into a 9 inch springform pan. Press crust mixture firmly into pan and at least 1 inch up the sides of pan. Freeze for at least 20 minutes. Or you can bake in pre-heated 350 degree oven for 8 minutes, and let cool before filling with pie mixture.
FIRST LAYER: In a medium size bowl combine all ingredients listed in first layer and beat until smooth and creamy. Pour mixture into prepared crust.
Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for about 25 minutes, or until filling is set. Let cool to room temperature. Then prepare second layer.
SECOND LAYER: In a medium size bowl, beat the cream cheese until light and fluffy, then add remaining ingredients and beat until smooth and creamy. Pour mixture over the baked and already cooled layer, and smooth out the top with a spatula.
Cover with plastic wrap or foil, and allow to chill for at least 4 hours, or over night. If you can wait that long. Then release the sides of pan, and place on a serving platter, and cover top with cool whip if desired, add extra grated lime zest for garnish if desired.
FYI: If fresh key limes are not available, you can use bottled KEY LIME JUICE, but fresh is much better. Key Lime juice has that extra kick that is missing in the regular limes.IT IS EASIER TO ZEST LIMES FIRST BEFORE EXTRACTING THE JUICE. TO EXTRACT MORE JUICE FROM THE LIMES PLACE THEM IN THE MICROWAVE FOR ABOUT 30 SECONDS then cut in half and extract juice. This is what the inside of the cheesecake looks like and the key limes really adds a tart flavor.