How to Make a Lemon Meringue Cheesecake

Merge the tangy delight of lemon meringue pie with the creamy, rich texture of cheesecake, and you get a dessert that’s nothing short of spectacular. This Lemon Meringue Cheesecake recipe is a symphony of flavors and textures, combining the best of both worlds into a single, stunning dessert. Perfect for spring gatherings, special occasions, or whenever you crave a slice of something sweet and refreshing, this cheesecake offers a zesty lemon flavor balanced with a smooth, velvety cream cheese base, all topped with a light, airy meringue. Dive into this recipe and discover how to create a dessert that’s sure to impress and satisfy any sweet tooth.

Why You’ll Love Lemon Meringue Cheesecake:

  • Bright and Refreshing: The lemon flavor brings a refreshing zest that lightens the rich cheesecake.
  • Elegant Presentation: With its glossy meringue topping, this cheesecake is as beautiful as it is delicious.
  • Texture Contrast: Enjoy the contrast between the creamy cheesecake, the crisp crust, and the fluffy meringue.
  • Perfect for All Occasions: Ideal for holidays, celebrations, or as a gourmet finish to a special meal.

Ingredients Notes For Lemon Meringue Cheesecake:

  • For the Crust:
    • Graham cracker crumbs mixed with melted butter and a touch of sugar for a crisp base.
  • For the Cheesecake:
    • Cream cheese for the smooth, creamy body of the cheesecake.
    • Sugar to sweeten, balanced with the tartness of fresh lemon juice and zest.
    • Eggs to bind the filling, ensuring a rich and dense texture.
  • For the Meringue:
    • Egg whites whipped with sugar into a glossy, stiff-peaked topping that’s lightly browned to perfection.
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Recipe Steps:

  1. Prepare the Crust: Combine graham cracker crumbs, melted butter, and sugar. Press into the bottom of a springform pan and bake briefly to set.
  2. Make the Cheesecake Filling: Beat cream cheese with sugar until smooth. Add eggs one at a time, then mix in lemon juice and zest. Pour over the prepared crust and bake until set.
  3. Create the Meringue: Whip egg whites and sugar to stiff peaks. Spread over the cooled cheesecake and broil or use a kitchen torch until golden.
  4. Chill and Serve: Allow the cheesecake to chill in the refrigerator for several hours before serving to ensure it’s perfectly set.

Storage Options:

  • Refrigerate: Store the cheesecake in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Cover loosely with plastic wrap to prevent the meringue from becoming too moist.
  • Freeze: It’s best enjoyed fresh, as freezing may affect the texture of the meringue and cheesecake layers.

INGREDIENTS

For the Crust:

  • 1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
  • 1/3 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar

For the Cheesecake Filling:

  • 24 oz (3 packages) cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 4 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • Zest of 2 lemons
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice

For the Lemon Curd:

  • 1/2 cup lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons lemon zest
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter

For the Meringue Topping:

  • 4 egg whites
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

INSTRUCTIONS

Prepare the Crust:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F (175°C). Mix graham cracker crumbs, melted butter, and sugar in a bowl. Press the mixture into the bottom of a 9-inch springform pan. Bake for 10 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool.
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Make the Cheesecake Filling:

  1. Reduce oven temperature to 325°F (160°C). In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese, sugar, and flour until smooth. Add eggs one at a time, beating just until combined. Stir in vanilla extract, lemon zest, and lemon juice. Pour over the crust.
  2. Bake for 55-60 minutes or until the center is set and the top appears dull. Remove from the oven and cool on a wire rack. Chill in the fridge for at least 4 hours or overnight.

Prepare the Lemon Curd:

  1. While the cheesecake is cooling, whisk together lemon juice, lemon zest, sugar, and egg yolks in a saucepan over medium heat. Cook and stir until thickened and creamy. Remove from heat and stir in butter. Cool slightly, then spread over the chilled cheesecake. Refrigerate until well chilled.

Make the Meringue Topping:

  1. When ready to serve, beat egg whites, sugar, and cream of tartar in a clean, dry bowl until stiff peaks form. Beat in vanilla extract.
  2. Spread or pipe the meringue over the lemon curd layer. Use a kitchen torch to brown the meringue lightly, or place under a broiler for a few minutes, watching closely to avoid burning.

Serving:

  • Serve immediately after adding the meringue topping, or keep refrigerated until ready to serve.

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