Lemon Meringue Cheesecake is a delicious dessert that combines the flavors of tangy lemon curd, rich cheesecake, and fluffy meringue topping. It is a unique twist on the classic lemon meringue pie, where the traditional pie crust is replaced with a creamy cheesecake layer, making it more decadent and indulgent.
The dessert typically features a buttery graham cracker crust, a creamy and tangy cheesecake layer made with cream cheese, lemon zest, and lemon juice, and a fluffy meringue topping made from egg whites and sugar. The lemon curd is often spread over the cheesecake layer before the meringue topping is added, creating a delicious combination of flavors and textures.
Lemon Meringue Cheesecake is a unique dessert that is perfect for special occasions, such as birthdays and holidays, as it is both impressive and delicious. While it may take a bit of effort to prepare, it is definitely worth the time and effort for the stunning result.
To make a Lemon Meringue Cheesecake, you will need the following ingredients:
For the crust:
- 2 cups graham cracker crumbs
- 1/3 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
For the cheesecake filling:
- 24 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 3 large eggs, at room temperature
- 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
- 2 teaspoons lemon zest
- 1/2 cup sour cream, at room temperature
For the lemon curd:
- 3 large eggs
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1 tablespoon lemon zest
For the meringue:
- 4 large egg whites, at room temperature
- 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
Now, let’s get started with the recipe:
- Preheat your oven to 350°F. Grease a 9-inch springform pan and line the bottom with parchment paper.
- To make the crust, combine the graham cracker crumbs, sugar, and melted butter in a bowl. Mix until well combined. Press the mixture onto the bottom and up the sides of the prepared pan.
- Bake the crust for 10 minutes or until lightly golden. Remove from the oven and let it cool while you prepare the filling.
- To make the cheesecake filling, beat the cream cheese in a large bowl until smooth and creamy. Add the sugar and beat until well combined. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Stir in the lemon juice, lemon zest, and sour cream until well combined.
- Pour the cheesecake batter into the cooled crust and smooth the top with a spatula.
- Bake the cheesecake for 45-50 minutes or until set around the edges but still slightly jiggly in the center.
- While the cheesecake is baking, make the lemon curd. In a medium saucepan, whisk together the eggs and sugar until well combined. Add the lemon juice, butter, and lemon zest, and cook over medium heat, whisking constantly, until the mixture thickens and coats the back of a spoon, about 10-15 minutes. Remove from heat and let it cool to room temperature.
- Once the cheesecake is done baking, remove it from the oven and let it cool to room temperature. Once it has cooled, spread the lemon curd evenly over the top of the cheesecake.
- To make the meringue, beat the egg whites and cream of tartar on medium-high speed until soft peaks form. Gradually add the sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, while beating on high speed, until stiff peaks form.
- Spread the meringue over the lemon curd, making sure to cover the edges of the cheesecake to prevent any cracks.
- Bake the cheesecake for an additional 10-15 minutes or until the meringue is golden brown.
- Remove the cheesecake from the oven and let it cool to room temperature before chilling in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours before serving.
Enjoy your delicious and impressive Lemon Meringue Cheesecake!
Tips For Choosing The Right Ingredients & Supplies For Baking Your Perfect Lemon Meringue Cheesecake
Choosing the right ingredients and supplies is crucial to baking the perfect Lemon Meringue Cheesecake. Here are some tips to help you choose the best ingredients and supplies:
- Cream Cheese: Use high-quality cream cheese that is at room temperature. The quality of the cream cheese affects the texture and taste of the cheesecake. Low-fat cream cheese is not recommended as it can make the cheesecake too soft and affect the flavor.
- Eggs: Use fresh, large eggs at room temperature. Fresh eggs make a difference in the texture and rise of the cheesecake. Room temperature eggs blend better with the cream cheese and help prevent lumps.
- Lemons: Use fresh lemons for the best flavor. Avoid using bottled lemon juice as it can have a bitter taste. Use a zester to remove the lemon zest, avoiding the white pith which can be bitter.
- Graham Cracker Crumbs: Use finely ground graham cracker crumbs for the crust. Make sure they are evenly mixed with melted butter to avoid crumbling.
- Butter: Use unsalted butter that is at room temperature for the crust. Salted butter can affect the flavor of the cheesecake. Melt the butter gently in the microwave or on a stove-top.
- Springform Pan: Use a 9-inch springform pan with high sides to prevent any leaks during baking. Line the bottom with parchment paper to prevent the cheesecake from sticking.
- Mixing Bowls: Use large mixing bowls to mix the cheesecake filling and the meringue. Use a separate bowl for each to prevent cross-contamination. Make sure the bowls are dry and free from grease.
- Electric Mixer: Use an electric mixer to beat the cream cheese, eggs, and meringue. This helps to ensure a smooth and creamy texture. A stand mixer with a paddle attachment works best.
- Cream of Tartar: Use cream of tartar to stabilize the meringue and help it hold its shape. It also gives the meringue a glossy finish.
- Lemon Curd: Make your own lemon curd to avoid any preservatives or additives. Homemade lemon curd has a richer flavor and texture than store-bought.
By using high-quality ingredients and the right supplies, you can ensure a delicious and impressive Lemon Meringue Cheesecake or Lemon Meringue Layer Cake.
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