kid-approved

Lemon Meringue Cheesecake

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prep time 60 minutes
cook time 1 hour and 15 minutes

Overview

If you find yourself with an overabundance of lemons in the kitchen, this is your new go-to recipe. One slice of this cheesecake and the decadent layers of zesty cream cheese, bright lemon curd, and sweet meringue will have you convinced that it just doesn’t get any better than this.

BY:Life, Love and Sugar

Ingredients

For the crust:

  • 2 1/4 cups (302g) graham cracker crumbs
  • 10 tablespoons (140g) salted butter, melted
  • 3 tablespoons (39g) sugar

For the filling:

  • 24 ounces (678g) cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1 cup (207g) sugar
  • 3 tablespoons (24g) all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup (230g) sour cream, room temperature
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon grated lemon zest (2 to 3 medium lemons)
  • 4 large Nellie’s Free Range Eggs, room temperature

For the lemon curd:

  • 8 tablespoons (90ml) lemon juice (3 to 4 medium lemons)
  • 4 teaspoons lemon zest
  • 1/2 cup (104g) sugar
  • 8 large Nellie’s Free Range Eggs, yolks only
  • 1/4 cup (56g) salted butter

For the meringue topping:

  • 1 cup (207g) sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 4 large Nellie’s Free Range Eggs, whites only

Directions

To make the crust:

  • Preheat oven to 325F (163C). Line a 9-inch (23cm) spring form pan with parchment paper on the bottom and grease the sides.
  • Combine the crust ingredients in a small bowl. Press the mixture onto the bottom and up the sides of the springform pan.
  • Bake the crust for 10 minutes, then set aside to cool.
  • Cover the outsides of the pan with aluminum foil so that water from the water bath cannot get in. Check out Linday’s method here. Set prepared pan aside.

To make the cheesecake:

  • Reduce oven temperature to 300F (148C).
  • In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese, sugar, and flour at low speed until completely combined and smooth. Be sure to use low speed to reduce the amount of air added to the batter, which can cause cracks. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.
  • Add the sour cream, vanilla, and lemon zest, and mix at low speed until well combined.
  • Add the eggs one at a time, mixing slowly to combine after each addition. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed to make sure everything is well combined.
  • Pour the cheesecake batter into the crust.
  • Place the springform pan inside another larger pan. Fill the outside pan with enough warm water to go about halfway up the sides of the springform pan. The water should not go above the top edge of the aluminum foil on the springform pan.
  • Bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes. The center should be set but still jiggly.
  • Turn off the oven and leave the door closed for 30 minutes. The cheesecake will continue to cook but slowly begin to cool as well.
  • Crack the door of the oven for an additional 30 minutes to allow the cheesecake to continue to cool gradually. This process helps prevent cracking.
  • Remove the cheesecake from the oven and water bath, then wrap and place the cheesecake in the refrigerator while you make the lemon curd.

To make the lemon curd:

  • Combine all the curd ingredients in a double boiler (or in a metal bowl over a pot of simmering water). Heat while whisking constantly until mixture is thickened and reaches 170-180F (77-82C) on a candy thermometer. You’ll notice it has already started to thicken nicely, and it will continue to thicken quickly.
  • Add the lemon curd to the top of the cheesecake before the curd cools and thickens.
  • Place the cheesecake back in the fridge until completely cool and firm, 5 to 6 hours.

To make the meringue topping:

  • Combine all the meringue ingredients in a large heatproof mixing bowl. Place the bowl over a saucepan or pot of simmering water. You can also use a double boiler.
  • Whisk constantly until sugar is dissolved and egg whites are warmed to between 120-140F(49-60C) on a candy thermometer, about 4 to 6 minutes. Remove from heat.
  • Using the whisk attachment, beat the egg white mixture at low speed, gradually increasing to high until stiff, glossy peaks form. This will take about 5 to 7 minutes.
  • Spoon the meringue onto the top of cheesecake in a slight dome shape.
  • Use a kitchen torch to toast the meringue.
  • Refrigerate the cheesecake until ready to serve. Cheesecake is best if eaten within 3 to 4 days.
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