These Mini Lemon Meringue Cheesecakes are incredibly delicious and full of fresh lemon flavour! They’re made with a buttery graham cracker crust, creamy lemon cheesecake filling, and are topped with a ring of toasted meringue with tart lemon curd in the centre. A fun bite-sized treat for summer!
It’s that time of year again — National Lemon Meringue Day! This time last year, I posted my first ever cheesecake recipe on this blog and it was lemon meringue flavoured. This full-sized Lemon Meringue Cheesecake was super rich and creamy and every bite was a burst of delicious lemon flavour, and these mini versions are no different!
For my original lemon meringue cheesecake, I made a vanilla wafer crust. This time I went with graham crackers because I wanted every part of these mini cheesecakes to represent an authentic lemon meringue pie.
The crust has a bit of sugar in it for sweetness and some butter to hold it all together. Even with the added sugar this crust still isn’t as sweet as a vanilla wafer crust so feel free to use those instead.
The filling is a thick, creamy and “basic” cheesecake recipe that gets its bold lemon flavour from both lemon juice and lemon zest.
I filled my liners with 1/4 cup of batter to get about 11-12 mini cheesecakes, though they don’t reach all the way to the top. You can fill each liner up to the top since these don’t rise that much, although you may end up with less cheesecakes. I didn’t have a problem with the amount of batter per liner because we’re going to remove the cheesecakes from the liners anyways, so you’ll barely notice that they’re not full.
These cheesecakes taste pretty amazing on their own, but we’re making lemon meringue cheesecakes so we gotta add the lemon and meringue!
Once the cheesecakes were done baking, I went ahead and made some of my Perfect Lemon Curd. Since we don’t need to use a lot, I cut the recipe in half, though there was still a bit leftover. That extra lemon curd can be spread onto fluffy biscuits, stirred into fruit parfaits or be dolloped between these Lemon Meringue Sugar Cookie Sandwiches!
If you’re intimidated by homemade lemon curd, don’t be. It’s incredibly easy to make! Simply combine the ingredients in a heat-proof bowl over an inch of simmering water and whisk until the mixture is thickened. No kitchen thermometer is needed, just whisk until the curd coats the back of a spoon. This process usually takes me about 15-20 minutes, but since this is a smaller batch, it may take less time.
Once the curd thickens, remove it from the heat, whisk in some butter, strain it, then cover it with plastic wrap and refrigerate until completely chilled.
Next up is the light and fluffy meringue! The meringue process is quite similar to the lemon curd, mainly because we cook it over a saucepan of simmering water. We whisk some sugar and egg whites together until the sugar is dissolved, then whip it on high speed until a fluffy meringue forms.
Tips for making meringue
Although I’ve made meringue a ton of times before, I still had to make 2 batches for this recipe because I messed up the first one. I was in a rush and didn’t really pay close attention to what I was doing so my meringue ended up being very soupy.
Here are some of my tips to ensure you end up with a perfect meringue each time!
- Clean off all of your utensils (stainless steel bowl and beaters) with lemon juice. Just squeeze some lemon juice onto a piece of paper towel and wipe off your bowl and beaters, then wipe it dry. This ensures there is no grease on your utensils which prevent the egg whites from whipping to full volume.
- You can use a kitchen thermometer to check the temperature of the egg whites, or you can test it by rubbing the egg white mixture between your fingers. You will know it’s ready when the sugar is completely dissolved.
- Whip the egg whites using a hand mixer or in a stand mixer on high speed. The meringue is ready when it’s doubled in volume and has reached STIFF peaks. If you were just dolloping the meringue onto the cheesecakes, the meringue won’t have to be super stiff. For this recipe, I wanted to pipe the meringue on top using a star tip, so we need this meringue to be stiff so it can hold its shape and keep the detail the tip provides.
The decoration of these cheesecakes was inspired by my Mini Triple Chocolate Cheesecakes and Cadbury Creme Egg Cupcakes. I started by removing the paper liners, which is very important because you don’t want them to burn while you toast the meringue.
Speaking of which, pipe a ring of meringue around the edges of the cheesecake and use a kitchen torch to toast the meringue. You could probably get away with broiling in the top rack of the oven, though it might not look as pretty.
Now remove the lemon curd from the refrigerator and stir it up to loosen, then fill the centres.
I just love this decoration of having a filling encased in a fluffy border, because once you take a bite the filling just oozes out.
Celebrate National Lemon Meringue Pie Day with these citrusy bite-sized cheesecakes that feature the best parts of a lemon meringue pie! The perfect balance between sweet and tart that will make your tastebuds explode!
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