lemOn meringue cheesecake

AuthorHeather WallaceCategoryDifficultyIntermediate

Lemon meringue cheesecake...a creamy rich New York-style cheesecake with luscious lemon curd and toasted Swiss meringue.

It's two desserts in one, sweet yet tart and so delicious! Why have just a lemon meringue pie or just a cheesecake when you could have both?!

With lemon curd ribboned in the middle of the cheesecake and a layer on the top, you get the bright flavor of the lemon in every bite...it's like you're eating sunshine!

Yields12 Servings
Prep Time50 minsCook Time1 hr 30 minsTotal Time2 hrs 20 mins

For the crust...
 1 cup graham crackers crumbled (about 1 packet)
 1 tbsp granulated sugar
 ½ tsp ground cinnamon
 4 tbsp unsalted butter (melted)
For the Lemon Curd...
 zest of 2 large lemons
 ½ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
 2 large eggs
 2 large egg yolks
 ½ cup granulated sugar
 6 tbsp unsalted butter (softened)
 ¼ tsp kosher salt
For the Filling...
 8 oz white chocolate (chopped)
 ¼ cup boiling water
 4 (8-ounce) bricks of cream cheese, softened and room temperature
 ¾ cup granulated sugar
 ¼ tsp kosher salt
 1 tbsp all-purpose flour
 3 large eggs, room temperature
 1 large egg yolk, room temperature
 ¼ tsp almond extract
 2 tsp vanilla extract
For the Toasted Meringue...
 3 large egg whites, room temperature
 ¼ tsp cream of tartar
 ¾ cup granulated sugar
  tsp salt
 scraped seeds from 1/2 a vanilla bean
 ½ tsp lemon extract

Gather Ingredients...
1

For the Lemon Curd...
2

In a medium saucepan combine the zest of 2 large lemons, 1/2 cup of freshly squeezed lemon juice, 2 large eggs, 2 large egg yolks, 1/2 cup granulated sugar, 6 tablespoons of softened unsalted butter, and 1/4 teaspoon of kosher salt.

Whisk over medium-low heat for 10 Minutes, until the mixture begins to thicken and coats the back of a spoon.

Remove the curd from the heat and run it through a sieve to remove any egg particles that may have clumped up; transfer it to a heat-safe bowl.

Cover the surface with plastic wrap and cool to room temperature for 2 hours. Once it is cooled, place it in the refrigerator.

For the Crust...
3

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.

Position an oven rack at the bottom of the oven and another in the middle. Then place a large roasting pan on the bottom rack and boil some water to fill the roasting pan. We will need these when we place the cheesecake in the oven.

Grease the inside of a 9-inch springform pan and line the bottom with parchment paper.

Place 1 packet of graham crackers, 1/2 teaspoon of ground cinnamon, and 1 tablespoon of sugar in a food processor and pulse until finely ground. While the processor is running, drizzle in 4 tablespoons of melted butter and continue processing until well mixed.

If you don't have a food processor, you can always put the graham crackers in a ziplock bag, crush them with a rolling pin, and combine the remaining ingredients in a medium bowl.

4

Press the crumb mixture into the bottom of the springform pan, making sure to leave a level surface.

Bake for 10 Minutes, until set.

Let the crust cool on a wire rack while you make the filling.

For the Cheesecake Filling . . .
5

Pour 1/3 cup of boiling water over 8 ounces of chopped white chocolate and shake the bowl to submerge the chocolate. Cover and let stand for 2 Minutes without stirring.

Whisk the chocolate and water until thoroughly blended and smooth. Set aside.

While the chocolate cools, beat 4 bricks (24 ounces) of room-temperature cream cheese in a blender, add 3/4 cup sugar and 1 tablespoon of flour, and mix until blended.

6

Add 3 room-temperature eggs and 1 room-temperature egg yolk, one at a time, processing thoroughly between each one.

The cream cheese and eggs must be at room temperature. This will ensure that you won't have any lumps in the batter and will give it a smooth, lump-free texture.

7

Stir in 1/4 teaspoon of kosher salt, 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract, and 1/4 teaspoon of almond extract.

While the blender is running, drizzle in the lukewarm chocolate and continue blending until creamy and all lumps are gone; scraping the bottom of the bowl several times. Whip for at least 1 to 2 Minutes after you don't see any more lumps and the batter is "satiny smooth".

Bake...
8

Pour half of the filling over the cooled crust and smooth the top. Drizzle 1/2 cup of the cooled lemon curd over the top of the cream cheese mixture and swirl with a butter knife. Pour in the remaining filling and smooth the top.

Carefully pour boiling water into the roasting pan on the bottom rack of the oven. Place the cheesecake on the middle rack just above the roast pan moving quickly to keep most of the steam in the oven.

Bake at 350 degrees F for 60 Minutes, until the center is lightly set and looks dry. The center should still jiggle slightly like jello.

Turn the oven off leave the oven cracked and cool for 30 Minutes to an hour.

9

Remove the cheesecake from the oven and cool it on a wire rack for one hour, then refrigerate for at least six to eight hours but is best chilled overnight. Do not remove the ring of the springform pan while chilling.

Before serving, allow the cake to sit at room temperature for 60 Minutes

For the Toasted Meringue...
10

In a small saucepan add 1″ of water and gently simmer. Whisk 3 large egg whites, 1/4 teaspoon of cream of tartar, 1/8 teaspoon of kosher salt, scraped seeds from 1/2 a vanilla bean, and 3/4 cup of granulated sugar in a clean aluminum bowl, and place on top of the simmering water ensuring the bottom of the bowl doesn't touch the water.

Continue to whisk over low heat for 10 Minutes, until the sugar has dissolved.

11

Transfer the egg whites to the bowl of a stand mixer and beat on medium-high speed.

Add 1/2 teaspoon of lemon extract and continue to whip for 8 to 10 Minutes until stiff peaks form.

Assemble...
12

Remove the sides of the springform pan, running a knife around the edges so the cake doesn't stick.

Pour the remaining lemon curd onto the cheesecake and spread it evenly to the edges.

13

Use a piping bag with your favorite tip to pipe dollops of meringue on top of the lemon curd.

14

Use a kitchen torch or a lighter to toast the tops of the meringue.

Garnish with lemon slices if desired.

Ingredients

For the crust...
 1 cup graham crackers crumbled (about 1 packet)
 1 tbsp granulated sugar
 ½ tsp ground cinnamon
 4 tbsp unsalted butter (melted)
For the Lemon Curd...
 zest of 2 large lemons
 ½ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
 2 large eggs
 2 large egg yolks
 ½ cup granulated sugar
 6 tbsp unsalted butter (softened)
 ¼ tsp kosher salt
For the Filling...
 8 oz white chocolate (chopped)
 ¼ cup boiling water
 4 (8-ounce) bricks of cream cheese, softened and room temperature
 ¾ cup granulated sugar
 ¼ tsp kosher salt
 1 tbsp all-purpose flour
 3 large eggs, room temperature
 1 large egg yolk, room temperature
 ¼ tsp almond extract
 2 tsp vanilla extract
For the Toasted Meringue...
 3 large egg whites, room temperature
 ¼ tsp cream of tartar
 ¾ cup granulated sugar
  tsp salt
 scraped seeds from 1/2 a vanilla bean
 ½ tsp lemon extract

Directions

Gather Ingredients...
1

For the Lemon Curd...
2

In a medium saucepan combine the zest of 2 large lemons, 1/2 cup of freshly squeezed lemon juice, 2 large eggs, 2 large egg yolks, 1/2 cup granulated sugar, 6 tablespoons of softened unsalted butter, and 1/4 teaspoon of kosher salt.

Whisk over medium-low heat for 10 Minutes, until the mixture begins to thicken and coats the back of a spoon.

Remove the curd from the heat and run it through a sieve to remove any egg particles that may have clumped up; transfer it to a heat-safe bowl.

Cover the surface with plastic wrap and cool to room temperature for 2 hours. Once it is cooled, place it in the refrigerator.

For the Crust...
3

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.

Position an oven rack at the bottom of the oven and another in the middle. Then place a large roasting pan on the bottom rack and boil some water to fill the roasting pan. We will need these when we place the cheesecake in the oven.

Grease the inside of a 9-inch springform pan and line the bottom with parchment paper.

Place 1 packet of graham crackers, 1/2 teaspoon of ground cinnamon, and 1 tablespoon of sugar in a food processor and pulse until finely ground. While the processor is running, drizzle in 4 tablespoons of melted butter and continue processing until well mixed.

If you don't have a food processor, you can always put the graham crackers in a ziplock bag, crush them with a rolling pin, and combine the remaining ingredients in a medium bowl.

4

Press the crumb mixture into the bottom of the springform pan, making sure to leave a level surface.

Bake for 10 Minutes, until set.

Let the crust cool on a wire rack while you make the filling.

For the Cheesecake Filling . . .
5

Pour 1/3 cup of boiling water over 8 ounces of chopped white chocolate and shake the bowl to submerge the chocolate. Cover and let stand for 2 Minutes without stirring.

Whisk the chocolate and water until thoroughly blended and smooth. Set aside.

While the chocolate cools, beat 4 bricks (24 ounces) of room-temperature cream cheese in a blender, add 3/4 cup sugar and 1 tablespoon of flour, and mix until blended.

6

Add 3 room-temperature eggs and 1 room-temperature egg yolk, one at a time, processing thoroughly between each one.

The cream cheese and eggs must be at room temperature. This will ensure that you won't have any lumps in the batter and will give it a smooth, lump-free texture.

7

Stir in 1/4 teaspoon of kosher salt, 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract, and 1/4 teaspoon of almond extract.

While the blender is running, drizzle in the lukewarm chocolate and continue blending until creamy and all lumps are gone; scraping the bottom of the bowl several times. Whip for at least 1 to 2 Minutes after you don't see any more lumps and the batter is "satiny smooth".

Bake...
8

Pour half of the filling over the cooled crust and smooth the top. Drizzle 1/2 cup of the cooled lemon curd over the top of the cream cheese mixture and swirl with a butter knife. Pour in the remaining filling and smooth the top.

Carefully pour boiling water into the roasting pan on the bottom rack of the oven. Place the cheesecake on the middle rack just above the roast pan moving quickly to keep most of the steam in the oven.

Bake at 350 degrees F for 60 Minutes, until the center is lightly set and looks dry. The center should still jiggle slightly like jello.

Turn the oven off leave the oven cracked and cool for 30 Minutes to an hour.

9

Remove the cheesecake from the oven and cool it on a wire rack for one hour, then refrigerate for at least six to eight hours but is best chilled overnight. Do not remove the ring of the springform pan while chilling.

Before serving, allow the cake to sit at room temperature for 60 Minutes

For the Toasted Meringue...
10

In a small saucepan add 1″ of water and gently simmer. Whisk 3 large egg whites, 1/4 teaspoon of cream of tartar, 1/8 teaspoon of kosher salt, scraped seeds from 1/2 a vanilla bean, and 3/4 cup of granulated sugar in a clean aluminum bowl, and place on top of the simmering water ensuring the bottom of the bowl doesn't touch the water.

Continue to whisk over low heat for 10 Minutes, until the sugar has dissolved.

11

Transfer the egg whites to the bowl of a stand mixer and beat on medium-high speed.

Add 1/2 teaspoon of lemon extract and continue to whip for 8 to 10 Minutes until stiff peaks form.

Assemble...
12

Remove the sides of the springform pan, running a knife around the edges so the cake doesn't stick.

Pour the remaining lemon curd onto the cheesecake and spread it evenly to the edges.

13

Use a piping bag with your favorite tip to pipe dollops of meringue on top of the lemon curd.

14

Use a kitchen torch or a lighter to toast the tops of the meringue.

Garnish with lemon slices if desired.

lemOn meringue cheesecake
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