This was a recipe I came up with for my husband over the Christmas holidays. He loves lemon meringue pies AND no-bake cheese cakes. I had purchased the ingredients for a blueberry no-bake cheese cake but at the last minute, decided to make it into a lemon meringue no-bake cheese cake. Sounds pretty good, doesn’t it?
The only problem is – I don’t think it’s ever been done before!! I couldn’t find a single recipe where someone put a lemon meringue pie filling on top of a no-bake cheese cake. No where!! I did see a few recipes where people put a lemon filling on top of a baked cheese cake, or they flavoured the cream cheese filling with lemon, or they put whipping cream on top instead of the meringue. (I pinned a few of those recipes for safe keeping)
Luckily I had checked off Lemon Meringue Pie off my food bucket list recently so I had some experience making the lemon curd pie filling from scratch. For people not up for that challenge, simply grab one of the jars of lemon curd ready made from the jam section of your grocery store, or buy one of those boxes for making lemon pie filling – its like making pudding.
Side Note: I have food bucket lists – one list is a list of food I want to eat and another list are recipes I want to make. Lemon meringue pie from scratch seemed daunting but really wasn’t bad! I can certainly see where making home made lemon curd pie filling could go wrong however. Just give yourself time to concentrate in the kitchen and don’t rush it!
I would say this recipe was a success! It was everything I had imagined it to be and so much more!! My husband also found another reason to love me. 🙂 I do however recommend you eat it the same day you make it as it did weep on me after the second day. (a sticky lemony juice formed between the lemon curd and meringue causing the meringue to slide off) Apparently there’s not much you can do to completely prevent it but Martha Stewart has a few suggestions to slow down the affects.
- 2 cups Graham cracker crumbs
- ½ cup Butter, melted
- 1 (8oz) Package cream cheese, softened
- 1 cup Whipping cream
- 1 tsp Vanilla extract
- 3 tbsp White sugar
- 1 cup white sugar
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 3 tablespoons cornstarch
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/2 cups water
- 2 lemons, juiced and zested
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 4 egg yolks, beaten
- 6 egg whites
- 6 tablespoons white sugar
- 1/2 tsp cream of tartar
- In a small bowl, stir together the graham cracker crumbs and butter. Press the crumbs into the bottom of a 9” spring form pan and up the sides a bit. Bake in a 350 F oven for 12 minutes or until lightly brown. Set aside to cool.
- In a small bowl, beat the cream cheese until smooth. Add in the whipping cream, vanilla extract and sugar and whip until it forms stiff peaks. Pour the filling into the crumb crust. Spread evenly over the chilled crumb layer. Chill in the fridge until the cream cheese filling is set – at least 1 hour.
- In a medium saucepan, whisk together 1 cup sugar, flour, cornstarch, and salt. Stir in water, lemon juice and lemon zest. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring frequently, until mixture comes to a boil. Stir in butter.
- Place egg yolks in a separate small bowl and gradually whisk in 1/2 cup of hot sugar mixture. Whisk egg yolk mixture back into remaining sugar mixture. Strain the mixture through a sieve to remove any cooked egg pieces. Place the mixture back on the heat. Bring the mixture to a boil and continue to cook while stirring constantly. Mixture will resemble a custard thickness. Remove from heat once it thickens.
- Important: cool the custard slightly until it is no longer steaming but still warm.
- In a large glass or metal bowl, whip egg whites until foamy. Add sugar and cream of tartar gradually, and continue to whip until stiff peaks form.
- Pour the lemon custard over your chilled cream cheese filling then top with the meringue. Use a spoon to create curls and peaks in your meringue. Return the cake to the fridge for another hour to set and chill again.
- When you are ready to serve, use the broiler on your oven (5 minutes)or a kitchen torch to brown the meringue until light and toasty.
This dessert is best if served the same day you make it as it weeps over time – condensation builds between the lemon filling and meringue. There are a few suggestions from Martha Stewart on prevent the weeping, I suggest you gobble it all up the first day. 😉
Linked up at The Freshman Cook’s Link Party.