Lemon Meringue Cheesecake

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A Symphony of Citrus: Lemon Meringue Cheesecake

Lemon Meringue Cheesecake is a harmonious fusion of classic cheesecake, zesty lemon curd, and fluffy meringue topping. It’s a delightful dessert that tantalizes the taste buds with its creamy texture, vibrant lemon flavor, and airy sweetness. This recipe combines the best elements of two beloved desserts, resulting in a decadent treat that’s sure to impress.


The origins of Lemon Meringue Cheesecake can be traced back to the traditional Lemon Meringue Pie, which dates back centuries. Lemon Meringue Pie is believed to have originated in Europe, with variations appearing in English, French, and Italian cuisines. The pie gained popularity in the United States during the 19th century, becoming a staple dessert in American households.

As cheesecake evolved and gained popularity in the United States, chefs and home cooks began experimenting with different flavors and variations. The marriage of lemon meringue and cheesecake was a natural progression, combining the tangy citrus flavor of lemon curd with the creamy richness of cheesecake filling. The addition of a fluffy meringue topping adds lightness and elegance to the dessert, elevating it to new heights of culinary decadence.


For the Crust:

  • 2 cups graham cracker crumbs
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted

For the Cheesecake Filling:

  • 24 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons lemon zest
  • 1/2 cup sour cream, at room temperature

For the Lemon Curd:

  • 3 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest

For the Meringue:

  • 4 large egg whites, at room temperature
  • 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar


Preparing the Crust:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C) and grease a 9-inch springform pan.
  2. In a mixing bowl, combine the graham cracker crumbs, granulated sugar, and melted butter until evenly moistened.
  3. Press the mixture into the bottom of the prepared pan, creating an even layer.
  4. Bake the crust for 8-10 minutes, then remove from the oven and set aside to cool.

Making the Cheesecake Filling:

  1. In a large mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese and granulated sugar until smooth and creamy.
  2. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition.
  3. Stir in the fresh lemon juice, lemon zest, and sour cream until fully incorporated.
  4. Pour the filling over the cooled crust, spreading it out evenly.

Baking the Cheesecake:

  1. Place the cheesecake in the preheated oven and bake for 40-45 minutes, or until the edges are set and the center is slightly jiggly.
  2. Remove the cheesecake from the oven and let it cool completely on a wire rack.

Making the Lemon Curd:

  1. In a heatproof bowl, whisk together the eggs, granulated sugar, lemon juice, lemon zest, and butter.
  2. Place the bowl over a pot of simmering water, making sure the bottom of the bowl doesn’t touch the water.
  3. Cook the mixture, stirring constantly, until it thickens and coats the back of a spoon (about 10-12 minutes).
  4. Remove the bowl from the heat and let the lemon curd cool to room temperature.

Preparing the Meringue:

  1. In a clean mixing bowl, beat the egg whites and cream of tartar until soft peaks form.
  2. Gradually add the granulated sugar, a spoonful at a time, and continue beating until stiff peaks form and the meringue is glossy.

Assembling the Cheesecake:

  1. Spread the cooled lemon curd over the cooled cheesecake, creating an even layer.
  2. Spoon the meringue over the lemon curd, spreading it out to cover the entire surface of the cheesecake.
  3. Use a spatula to create decorative peaks in the meringue.

Browning the Meringue:

  1. Preheat the broiler in the oven.
  2. Place the cheesecake under the broiler for 1-2 minutes, or until the meringue is lightly golden brown.

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