Lemon Meringue Cheesecake

Lemon Meringue Cheesecake

Kristina Vanni/Eric Kleinberg

Prep: 30 mins
Cook: 60 mins
Chill: 8 hrs
Total: 9 hrs 30 mins
Servings: 12 slices
Yield: 1 cheesescake

If you love the delicate and beautiful toasted meringue topping adorning lemon meringue pie, you will love the same classic topping over this lemon cheesecake.

The cheesecake starts with a simple crust made from crushed vanilla wafer cookies. It is then filled with a classic cheesecake filling that has been flavored with lemon curd and freshly grated lemon zest. Once the cheesecake has baked, cooled, and chilled overnight, it is time to prepare the meringue topping. That's when the real fun begins. After spreading the meringue topping over the prepared cheesecake, it's time to bring out the blow torch. Each delicate peak of meringue is toasted to perfection with the flame. Then it is time to slice, serve, and enjoy the fruits of your labor.

Ingredients

  • Crust:
  • 1 1/2 cups finely crushed vanilla wafer cookies (40 cookies)
  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter (melted)
  • Lemon Filling:
  • 3 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese (softened)
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup lemon curd
  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
  • 3 eggs
  • Meringue Topping:
  • 3 egg whites (at room temperature)
  • 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 6 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients. Heat the oven to 325 F.

    Lemon Meringue Cheesecake

    Kristina Vanni/Eric Kleinberg

  2. Combine the crushed vanilla wafer cookie crumbs, 1 teaspoon of the lemon peel and the melted butter in a medium bowl .

    Lemon Meringue Cheesecake

    Kristina Vanni/Eric Kleinberg

  3. Press cookie crust mixture evenly in the bottom of a springform pan. Wrap the bottom of the pan in aluminum foil to prevent any leaks in the oven. Set aside.

    Lemon Meringue Cheesecake

    Kristina Vanni/Eric Kleinberg

  4. Beat the cream cheese in large bowl with electric mixer on medium speed until smooth. Gradually beat in the granulated sugar, lemon curd, and remaining 1 teaspoon lemon peel until smooth.

    Lemon Meringue Cheesecake

    Kristina Vanni/Eric Kleinberg

  5. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition.

    Lemon Meringue Cheesecake

    Kristina Vanni/Eric Kleinberg

  6. Pour the filling over the crust. Bake 55 to 65 minutes or until center is set.

    Lemon Meringue Cheesecake

    Kristina Vanni/Eric Kleinberg

  7. Allow to cool on a wire rack for 30 minutes. Then, run metal spatula alongside the inside the pan to loosen the cheesecake. Cover and refrigerate at least 2 hours but no longer than 48 hours.

    Lemon Meringue Cheesecake

    Kristina Vanni/Eric Kleinberg

  8. When ready to serve, remove the side of the pan. In medium bowl, beat egg whites and cream of tartar with electric mixer on high speed until foamy. Beat in sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time; scrape side of bowl occasionally. Continue beating until stiff, glossy peaks form and sugar is completely dissolved. Beat in vanilla.

    Lemon Meringue Cheesecake

    Kristina Vanni/Eric Kleinberg

  9. Spread the meringue over the top of the cheesecake. Use your knife to lift the meringue into peaks just before toasting.

    Lemon Meringue Cheesecake

    Kristina Vanni/Eric Kleinberg

  10. Use a kitchen torch to toast the outside of the meringue. Refrigerate the cheesecake until ready to serve.

    Alternately, if you don’t have a kitchen torch, bake in a 350 F oven for 20 to 25 minutes or until meringue is browned and the temperature of the meringue reaches 160 F.

    Lemon Meringue Cheesecake

    Kristina Vanni/Eric Kleinberg