June 25, 2015

Lemon Meringue Cheesecake

One of the things I enjoy now is the chance to repay my mom for all the years of making amazing birthday treats that wowed me and my friends as children. Grown-up tastes are a bit more refined, perhaps, than a big ol' ice cream pail of dirt cake. (As I type that, I realize how much my 3-year-old son would love that idea!)

I've had this recipe from Cookies and Cups bookmarked for quite some time, and my mom's birthday is the perfect occasion for it since she's a lemon lover. I never could understand the idea of lemon meringue pie as a child, but now I've some around to it especially in this cheesecake form. (See above comment about refined tastes.) This is an impressive and delicious dessert. I could envision a key lime version being equally as tasty.

Lemon Meringue Cheesecake
2 1/2 cups biscoff cookie crumbs
1/3 cup sugar
6 Tbsp. butter, melted 
32 oz. cream cheese, room temperature
1 1/2 cups sugar
6 egg yolks (reserve whites for meringue)
2 Tbsp. flour
1 cup sour cream
3 Tbsp. lemon zest (3 large lemons)
Meringue Topping
6 egg whites
1 1/2 cups sugar

Preheat oven to 300°F. Combine all ingredients for crust in a bowl evenly. Press mixture into a 9" springform pan and up the sides, about one inch. Bake for 10 minutes, and allow to cool.

In bowl fitted with paddle attachment, beat cream cheese and sugar together until combined and smooth. Add in egg yolks, and beat until mixture is just combined, scraping sides as necessary.
Add in flour, sour cream and lemon zest, and mix until smooth.

Pour mixture over prepared crust. Bake for 75 minutes. Then turn off oven, and leave cheesecake in the warm oven with the door closed for 4 hours. Finally, remove it from oven, run a knife along the edges to loosen from pan, and chill for 6 hours, or overnight.

Whisk 6 reserved egg whites with sugar. Place over a double boiler, and stirring constantly, heat mixture until it reaches 140° on candy thermometer. Pour mixture immediately into bowl of stand mixer, fitted with whisk attachment, and beat for 10 minutes, until glossy and stiff peaks form.

Spread the meringue over chilled cheesecake, and with kitchen torch lightly brown the tops of the meringue. Makes one 9-inch cheesecake.

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