Lemon Meringue Cheesecake

Indulge in the delightful fusion of tangy lemon and creamy cheesecake with this exquisite Lemon Meringue Cheesecake recipe. Perfect for special occasions or whenever you crave a decadent treat, this dessert is sure to impress with its harmonious blend of flavors and textures.

Ingredients:

  • Crust:
  • 2½ cups crushed Nilla wafer cookies, or generic version
  • 5 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • ½ cup salted sweet cream butter, melted and cooled
  • Lemon Cheesecake Filling:
  • 1½ cups granulated sugar
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 32 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • ⅔ cup sour cream, room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon zest
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 6 large eggs, room temperature
  • ¾ cup lemon curd
  • Meringue:
  • 4 large egg whites, room temperature
  • ¼ teaspoon cream of tartar
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 325°F. Prepare a 9 x 3 springform pan by wrapping it in heavy-duty aluminum foil and greasing it with nonstick spray.
  2. Mix crushed Nilla wafer cookies and granulated sugar for the crust. Add melted butter and stir until coated. Press mixture onto the bottom and sides of the springform pan.
  3. Combine granulated sugar and cornstarch for the filling. In a mixing bowl, beat cream cheese and sour cream until smooth. Add lemon zest, lemon juice, vanilla extract, and sugar mixture. Mix well.
  4. Add eggs one at a time, mixing after each addition. Pour batter onto the crust. Tap the pan to release air bubbles.
  5. Place the springform pan in a roasting pan and pour boiling water around it. Bake for 1 hour and 30 minutes, then let it sit in the oven with the door cracked for 1 hour.
  6. Remove the cheesecake from the oven, water bath, and foil. Let it cool for 1 hour, then spread lemon curd on top.
  7. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Beat egg whites and cream of tartar until soft peaks form. Gradually add granulated sugar until stiff peaks form.
  8. Spread meringue over the lemon curd. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes until golden brown. Chill for at least 8 hours before serving.
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Tips:

  • Use room temperature ingredients for smoother blending and better incorporation.
  • Be gentle when adding eggs to avoid overmixing and incorporating air.
  • Ensure the springform pan is well-wrapped in foil to prevent water from leaking into the cheesecake.
  • Allow the cheesecake to cool gradually to prevent cracking.
  • For a perfect meringue, ensure the egg whites are at room temperature and beat until stiff peaks form.

Conclusion:
Indulge in the luscious Lemon Meringue Cheesecake, a delightful symphony of flavors and textures. With its buttery crust, creamy lemon-infused filling, and fluffy meringue topping, this dessert is a true masterpiece that will leave your taste buds craving more. Enjoy each slice as a decadent treat that’s perfect for any occasion.

  1. Can I use store-bought lemon curd instead of making it from scratch?
    Absolutely! While homemade lemon curd adds a fresh and vibrant flavor to the cheesecake, you can certainly use store-bought lemon curd as a convenient alternative. Look for high-quality lemon curd options at your local grocery store or specialty food stores. Ensure that the lemon curd is smooth and well-balanced in flavor to complement the richness of the cheesecake. Simply spoon the lemon curd over the cooled cheesecake according to the recipe instructions.
  2. What can I do if I don’t have a springform pan for baking the cheesecake?
    If you don’t have a springform pan, you can still make this delicious Lemon Meringue Cheesecake using alternative baking vessels. Consider using a deep-dish pie plate or a regular cake pan lined with parchment paper. Keep in mind that using a different pan may slightly alter the baking time and presentation of the cheesecake. Ensure that the pan you choose has tall sides to accommodate the cheesecake batter and prevent spillage during baking.
  3. Can I prepare the cheesecake ahead of time and freeze it for later?
    Yes, you can prepare the Lemon Meringue Cheesecake ahead of time and freeze it for later enjoyment. Once the cheesecake has cooled completely and been topped with the meringue, wrap it securely with plastic wrap or aluminum foil to prevent freezer burn. Alternatively, you can place the cheesecake in an airtight container suitable for freezing. When ready to serve, allow the cheesecake to thaw overnight in the refrigerator. For best results, add the meringue topping and bake it just before serving to maintain its light and fluffy texture.
  4. How do I prevent cracks from forming on the surface of the cheesecake?
    Cracks on the surface of cheesecakes can result from various factors, including overmixing the batter, sudden temperature changes, or overbaking. To minimize the risk of cracks, follow these tips:
  • Mix the cheesecake batter just until smooth and creamy, avoiding excessive beating, which can incorporate too much air.
  • Gradually cool the cheesecake after baking by turning off the oven and allowing it to sit with the door cracked open. This gradual cooling helps prevent drastic temperature changes that can cause cracks.
  • Ensure that all ingredients, especially the cream cheese and eggs, are at room temperature before mixing to promote even blending.
  • Avoid overbaking the cheesecake by checking for doneness slightly before the recommended baking time. The center should still have a slight jiggle when gently shaken.
  • If cracks do form despite precautions, don’t worry! The meringue topping will beautifully cover any imperfections, leaving you with a stunning and delicious dessert.
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