There is a quote in the movie Inception about ideas which I quite like. “An idea is like a virus, resilient, highly contagious and the smallest seed of an idea can grow”. Perhaps a little bit dramatic for a post about cheesecake, but this is what happens when I start thinking about what to cook…
It’s my Mum’s birthday tomorrow and last night we had a family dinner to celebrate. I offered to make a cake, and she asked for a vanilla or lemon cheesecake, but not blueberry. Then my mind starts getting excited, I can’t just stop at ‘cheesecake’… “Yes! Lemon cheesecake! I wonder if a meringue topping would be nice… Ooh a layer of tangy lemon curd will balance the sweetness!”. And so it was decided!
This is only the second cheesecake I’ve ever made – the first one being a couple of years ago for Paul’s birthday. I had a couple of problems (or ‘things I would do differently next time’): I wouldn’t bother adding a layer of lemon curd inside the cheesecake to marble it, as it baked into the mix anyway – I would just add an extra thick layer of curd on top at the end. Also, I let the cake cool in the oven before transferring to the fridge, but it still cracked in the centre after cooling! Luckily I was covering it with lemon curd and meringue.
Despite its somewhat rustic appearance, it tasted pretty fantastic, and I’m happy to say Mum loved it
Do you have any tips for baking the perfect no-crack cheesecake?
Happy Birthday Mum!
Lemon Meringue Cheesecake
Adapted from The Australian Women’s Weekly ‘Cook’ Baked Lemon Cheesecake recipe
- 250g packet plain sweet biscuits
- 125g unsalted butter, melted
- 3 eggs
- 110g caster sugar
- 3 x 250g packets cream cheese, softened
- 1 tablespoon finely grated lemon rind
- 60ml lemon juice
- Lemon curd, recipe below
- Meringue, recipe below
- Preheat oven to 180C / 160C fan-forced. Line base of a 22cm springform pan with foil.
- Process biscuits until crushed finely. Add butter, process until just combined. Press biscuit mixture evenly over base and sides of tin; cover and refrigerate for 1 hour – now is the time to make the lemon curd.
- Beat eggs and sugar in medium bowl with electric mixer until thick and creamy; add cheese, rind and juice; beat until smooth. Place tin on an oven tray, pour half cheese mixture into tin. Pour ½ – 1 cup lemon curd into pan and spread evenly. Pour remaining cheese mixture into pan, and use a skewer to marble the mixture.
- Bake, uncovered, for 1 hour or until almost cooked (it should still be wobbly in the centre).
- Cool in oven with the door ajar, then refrigerate for 3 hours or overnight.
- Remove cheesecake from fridge and release from springform pan. Top with ½ – 1 cup lemon curd (depending on your tastes). Spread meringue mixture on top and use blowtorch to toast and colour the meringue (you could colour it evenly, but I wanted to highlight the textures). If you don’t have a blowtorch, heat the oven to 180C then cook meringue-topped cheesecake for 7-10 minutes, or until golden.
By Kitchen Wench
- 3 lemons
- 200g caster sugar
- 3 large eggs
- 120g unsalted butter, diced
- Zest the lemons, then juice them (leaving out all the pips and bits) and combine with the zest.
- Lightly beat together the eggs then run through a fine sieve. This is necessary to make sure the curd cooks evenly and reduces the chances of getting big chunks of egg in your curd as it cooks.
- Combine the strained egg with the lemon zest, lemon juice and sugar in a large heat-proof bowl. Prepare a separate bowl with iced water and set aside.
- Bring a pot of water to a low simmer, then place the bowl with the lemon mixture on top and stir continuously till it thickens considerably and coats the sides of the bowl and the back of the spoon. This should take about 20-30 minutes.
- As soon the curd is cooked, remove it from on top of the pot and place it over a bowl of iced water; while stirring continuously add the butter, once piece at a time and stir vigorously till it is all incorporated. Chill until required.
Excerpt from The Australian Women’s Weekly ‘Cook’ Lemon Meringue Pie recipe
- 3 egg whites
- 110g caster sugar
- Beat egg whites in a bowl with electric mixer until soft peaks form.
- Gradually add sugar while continuing to beat mixture until all sugar is added and mixture is glossy.
Use a straight-edged glass to square-off base mixture in pan
After marbling the cheese mixture and lemon curd
Cover up the crack with lemon curd!