Lemon Meringue Cheesecake

It’s a mash up of lemon meringue pie and cheesecake that gets you the total best of both worlds: Lemon Meringue Cheesecake!

It's a mash up of lemon meringue pie and cheesecake that gets you the total best of both worlds: Lemon Meringue Cheesecake!

If you’re looking for something a little more lemony than our lemony Blueberry Cheesecake, then this Lemon Meringue Cheesecake is what you need. Seriously, if a cheesecake and a lemon meringue pie had a baby, this is what it would look like. A buttery tart crust is filled with luscious lemony cheesecake filling topped with lemon curd and then topped with billowy, toasted meringue. I mean, is that tempting or what?  

The best part about this tart, well, besides the awesome flavor, is that you get all the rich, creamy goodness of a cheesecake with less fuss. To make a really great, perfectly creamy cheesecake you need to carefully mix the batter so you don’t incorporate too much air, bake it, then chill the cake for hours before you can eat it. It’s well worth the time but make sure you check out all our tips for making the perfect cheesecake before you start.

I know you usually want to bake a cheesecake in a water bath, but because this is baked in a sweet cookie crust, you don’t need to fiddle with a messy water bath. The crust will keep the filling from baking too fast. Also keep in mind you’re going to want to use a 12-inch fluted tart pan like this one instead of the traditional springform pan

And while I know it might seem a bit unusual to have butter in a cheesecake filling, the extra fat from the butter not only makes for a super-creamy filling, it also means the filling is less likely to curdle and crack than a regular cheesecake filling. Plus, a little butter is always a good thing, am-I-right? 

The cheesecake filling is also super-versatile. Instead of topping the tart with lemon curd and meringue, try arranging gorgeous fresh berries on top or keep the cheesecake simple and drizzle chocolate ganache over top. Go ahead, let your imagination run wild. 

It's a mash up of lemon meringue pie and cheesecake that gets you the total best of both worlds: Lemon Meringue Cheesecake!

Lemon Meringue Cheesecake

Yield: 12 servings

Prep Time: 45 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes

Ingredients:

Crust 
  • 1 stick plus 2 Tbsp. unsalted butter, softened to room temperature 
  • 1/4 cup plus 1 Tbsp. granulated sugar 
  • 1 egg yolk 
  • 1 and 1/2 cups all-purpose flour 
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla 
  • 1/4 tsp. salt 
Cheesecake Filling 
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar 
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature 
  • 1 lemon, zest (grated) and juice 
  • 1 tsp. lemon extract 
  • 8 oz. cream cheese, room temperature 
  • 2 large eggs 
  • 1 cup homemade or store-bought lemon curd 
Meringue 
  • 1 Tbsp. cornstarch 
  • 1/3 cup cool water 
  • 4 large egg whites, room temperature 
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar 
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla 

Directions:

Crust 
  1. In a medium bowl cream together butter and sugar. Stir in egg, flour, vanilla and salt.
  2. Chill 1-2 hours.
  3. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  4. Roll the dough out until large enough to line a 12" fluted tart pan. Put crust in pan. Bake until golden brown, 15 minutes. Set aside while you make the filling. 
Cheesecake Filling 
  1. Cream sugar, butter, lemon zest, juice and extract until smooth. Scrape the bowl.
  2. Add the cream cheese and mix.
  3. Add the eggs, mix until combined.
  4. Pour the filling into the tart shell and bake until set, about 15-20 minutes.
  5. Cool 10 minutes. Spread lemon curd over the cheesecake filling. Set aside the tart while you make the meringue. 
Meringue 
  1. Set a pot with a few inches of water over medium heat to simmer. 
  2. In a different pan, whisk together the cornstarch and water. Cook the mixture over low heat, stirring constantly, until it thickens and becomes translucent. Set aside to cool. 
  3. Combine the egg whites with the sugar in a heatproof mixing bowl. Set the bowl over the pan of simmering water and heat to 160ºF, whisking constantly. 
  4. Remove the whites from the heat and whip to full peak. Beat in the cornstarch mix and vanilla. Spread the meringue onto the tart, swirling into pretty peaks and valleys. 
  5. Bake until the meringue is nicely browned, about 10 minutes. 
  6. Cool to room temperature then chill until cold before removing the pan. 
  7. Serve chilled. 
It's a mash up of lemon meringue pie and cheesecake that gets you the total best of both worlds: Lemon Meringue Cheesecake!

Eileen Gray

Eileen blogs at Baking Sense, where she shares from-scratch baking recipes that focus on great ingredients and techniques. Eileen has a been a pastry chef for 20+ years, but she’s been baking geek her entire life. Eileen wants to turn you into a baking geek too! She knows that anyone can bake if they have a good recipe and the helping hand of a seasoned baker.