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Lemon Meringue Cheesecake

Lemon Meringue Cheesecake

Rich and creamy lemon cheesecake with a crispy graham cracker crust topped with sweet tart lemon curd and toasted marshmallowy meringue
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 45 mins
Cook Time 1 hr 15 mins
Cooling Time 6 hrs
Course Dessert
Servings 15 servings

Ingredients
  

Graham Cracker Crust

  • 1 ½ cup (150g) graham cracker crumbs, about 10 graham cracker sheets
  • ¼ cup (50g) granulated sugar
  • 6 tablespoons (84g) unsalted butter, melted
  • pinch of salt

Lemon Cheesecake

  • 5 (8oz) blocks (1130g) cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1 ⅓ cups (266g) granulated sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup (120ml) heavy cream
  • 5 large eggs, room temperature
  • 2 large egg yolks, room temperature

Lemon Curd

  • 1/2 cup (100g) granulated sugar
  • zest from a lemon
  • 3 large egg yolks
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 cup (120ml) lemon juice
  • pinch of salt
  • 2 tablespoon unsalted butter, room temperature

Meringue Topping

  • 3 large egg whites, room temperature
  • 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/2 cup (100g) granulated sugar

Instructions
 

Make the crust.

  • Heat the oven to 325F. Line the bottom of a 9" springform pan with parchment paper.
  • Combine the graham cracker crumbs, sugar, melted butter and salt and mix with until evenly moistened.
  • Press the crumbs evenly into the bottom of the springform pan.
  • Bake the crust for 12-14 minutes, or until lightly browned around the edges.
  • Cool the crust completely. Cut (2) 18" pieces of heavy duty aluminum foil. Criss-cross the pieces so that they overlap, and tightly wrap the foil around the pan and up to the edges of the pan. This size of foil is critical to make sure that the pieces aren't too small, which could allow leaking. Set aside and make the filling.

Make the Cheesecake.

  • In the bowl of the stand mixer, place the softened cream cheese. Beat on medium speed to combine and break up the cream cheese.
  • Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl, then beat for another minute.
  • Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl again, then add in the sugar and salt. Beat until combined.
  • Scrape the bowl again, then beat for an additional minute, ensuring everything is well blended.
  • Add in the cream, lemon juice, lemon zest and vanilla. Beat on low until combined, about a minute.
  • Scrape the bowl. Add both egg yolks and mix until combined, about a minute.
  • Scrape the bowl. Add in the eggs, 1-2 at a time, beating until combined, scraping the bowl between additions.
  • Lightly brush the sides of the springform pan with melted butter.
  • Place the springform into a roasting pan or a large (14") cake pan. Prepare a pitcher of hot water.
  • Pour the cheesecake mixture into the pan, and use an offset spatula to smooth out the batter.
  • Place the roasting pan into the oven. Fill the roasting pan with the hot water, just enough to come halfway up the sides of the foil of the springform pan.
  • Bake the cheesecake until the cheesecake jiggles slightly, no longer appears wet and an instant read thermometer reads 150F, about 60-90 minutes.
  • Once done baking, turn off the oven. Prop the oven door open slightly with a wooden spoon. Let the cheesecake slowly cool in the water bath in the oven for 45 minutes.
  • Remove the cheesecake from the oven. Remove the foil. Place the cheesecake on a wire rack.
  • Run a small knife around the edge of the pan to loosen the cheesecake and keep it from splitting in the middle.
  • Cool the cheesecake to room temperature, about 2-3 hours.

Make the lemon curd.

  • Combine the sugar and lemon zest into a bowl. Rub the mix between your hands to release the oils of the zest. The mixture will be like wet sand.
  • Add the eggs and egg yolks to the sugar mixture and whisk to combine. 
  • Add the lemon juice and whisk to combine.
  • Pour the mixture into a medium sauce pan, and place over a medium low heat. Add the butter. Stir continuously to keep the mixture moving so your eggs don't scramble.
  • Cook the curd until thick and just beginning to bubble, or until an instant read thermometer reaches 170F. The curd will thicken more in the refrigerator.
  • Strain the curd into a clean shallow bowl, and let it sit until it reaches room temperature. 
  • Pour the curd onto the room temperature cheesecake. Use a spatula to spread the curd evenly over the cheesecake.
  • Carefully lay a piece of plastic wrap over the curd to prevent a skin from forming. Place in the refrigerator until the curd is set and the cheesecake is cold, about 3 hours.

Make the meringue topping.

  • In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, combine the egg whites and cream of tartar.
  • Whip the egg whites on low/medium speed until the whites are foamy.
  • Turn the mixer up to high speed and slowly pour in the sugar.
  • Whip the egg whites until stiff peaks form and the mixture is thick and glossy.
  • Top the cheesecake with the meringue. Use a kitchen torch to toast the meringue. Serve immediately.
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