Imagine a harmonious blend of the classic lemon meringue pie and the ever-indulgent cheesecake. That’s precisely what our Lemon Meringue Cheesecake offers! Perfect for every season, this dessert stands out not just for its flavors but also for its aesthetic appeal. And here’s a little secret – it tastes even more divine the day after!
- For the Crust:
- 2 cups shortbread cookie crumbs
- ¼ cup melted butter
- For the Filling:
- 3 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
- 1 cup sour cream
- 1 cup white sugar
- 4 large eggs
- ¼ cup fresh lemon juice
- Zest from 1 medium lemon
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- For the Meringue Topping:
- 4 large egg whites
- ¼ cup white sugar
- ¼ teaspoon cream of tartar (Optional)
- 1 ½ cups lemon curd
- Crust Creation: Kickstart the process by preheating your oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C). Combine the cookie crumbs and melted butter in a bowl, ensuring an even mix. Press this mixture onto the base of a 9-inch springform pan, forming a crust.
- Filling Fun: Dive into the creamy filling by beating the cream cheese, sour cream, and sugar till you achieve a creamy consistency. Introduce the eggs, one by one, ensuring you beat well after each addition. Add the refreshing touch of lemon juice, zest, and vanilla. Once well-mixed, spread this over the crust.
- Baking Time: Bake the cheesecake in your preheated oven till the center almost sets, which should be about an hour. Let it cool at room temperature for another hour. Once cooled, refrigerate for a good 3 to 4 hours.
- Meringue Magic: Preheat the oven again, but this time to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). For the meringue, whisk the egg whites until soft peaks form. Gradually add sugar and cream of tartar, beating till you see glossy and stiff peaks.
- Layering Love: Once the cheesecake is well-chilled, spread a generous layer of lemon curd. Top this with the whipped egg whites. Ensure that the curd is completely covered by the meringue.
- Final Bake: Bake till the meringue showcases a golden-brown hue, which would take around 10 minutes. Allow the cheesecake to chill in the refrigerator for at least an hour before serving. A word of caution – avoid covering the meringue as it might cause it to collapse.
Expert Tips from Kim:
- Double the Delight: You can easily whip up two of these cheesecakes at once. Consider freezing one (without the meringue) to relish later.
- DIY Lemon Curd: Utilize the leftover egg yolks from the meringue to make your own zesty lemon curd.
The Lemon Meringue Cheesecake is more than a dessert; it’s a celebration on a plate. Every bite offers a medley of flavors, from the crisp crust to the creamy center and the fluffy meringue. A must-try for all dessert enthusiasts!
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