i’ve not made a lemon meringue but i have made cheesecakes so why not combine the two together. this is the ultimate cheesecake.
1 x 250g packet arnott’s nice biscuits
140g melted butter
2 x 250g packets cream cheese, at room temperature
1 x 300g carton sour cream
155g (3/4 cup) caster sugar
1 tablespoon finely grated lemon rind
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
3 egg whites
155g (3/4 cup) caster sugar
1) line the base of a 22cm (base measurement) spring-form pan with non-stick baking paper. place the biscuits in the bowl of a food processor and process until finely crushed. add the butter and process until well combined.
2) transfer the biscuit mixture to the prepared pan. use a straight-sided glass to spread and press the biscuit mixture firmly over the base and side of the pan. cover with plastic wrap and place in the fridge to chill.
3) preheat oven to 160c. place the cream cheese, sour cream, sugar, lemon rind and juice in the clean bowl of a food processor and process until smooth. add the eggs and process until well combined.
4) pour the cream cheese mixture into the biscuit base. bake in oven for 1 hour or until just set in the centre. turn oven off. leave the cheesecake in the oven, with the door slightly ajar, for 2 hours or until cooled completely (this will prevent the cake from cracking). place in the fridge for 4 hours to chill.
5) meanwhile, to make the meringue, use an electric beater to whisk the egg whites in a clean, dry bowl until firm peaks form. gradually add the sugar, 1 tablespoonful at a time, whisking constantly until the mixture is thick and glossy.
6) preheat oven to 200c. spoon the meringue mixture over the cheesecake and spread to the edge. bake in oven for 5-8 minutes or until lightly browned. place in the fridge for 2-3 hours to chill. cut into wedges and serve.
preparation time – 30 minutes; cooking time – 70 minutes; serves 10
to make the cake gluten free, i substituted the nice biscuits with rice cookies. unfortunately the butter dripped from the pan in the oven which caused a mild bout of panic on my behalf. you would panic too if you saw smoke. the rice cookies obviously didn’t absorb the butter well. i was worried that the cake would fall apart when taking it out of the pan. thankfully it all held together after having chilled in the fridge overnight.
one other thing – read the recipe beforehand … read all of it. i saw the picture (on the taste.com.au site), noted the ingredients and thought “yep, i’m making that one.” 7pm rolls around, i start getting the ingredients ready and i turn the oven on. all is going well until i read step four. one hour to bake, two hours to cool and four hours to chill – i’m sorry, what? and then there’s another two to three hours for the meringue to chill.
you live and learn.
the lemon meringue cheesecake was sweet, creamy and everyone liked it. even though it was a tad time consuming, it was worth the effort and the dramas. i’ll be making it again. [on a weekend. in the morning. at 7am.]
“a meringue is really nothing but a foam. and what is a foam after all, but a big collection of bubbles? and what’s a bubble? it’s basically a very flimsy little latticework of proteins draped with water. we add sugar to this structure, which strengthens it. but things can, and do, go wrong.” ~ alton brown