My mom and I have a long standing love affair with Lemon Meringue! It has become our coffee date
cheat indulgence and sometimes I even manage to spoil her with a freshly baked one when I get the chance. I found this recipe a short while ago and it is without a doubt the best of two worlds; combining two of my absolute favourites; Lemon Meringue and Cheesecake!
INGREDIENTS FOR BASE :
1 1/2 Packets of Tennis biscuits (I used 1 packet tennis and 1/2 packet ginger biscuits)
125gr butter melted (I did not use the full amount)
Method: Crush biscuits, add melted butter and mix well. Press into a 20cm spring-form pan lining the base and sides with biscuits (I lined my pan with foil)
INGREDIENTS FOR FILLING:
500 grams cream cheese
2 tins condensed milk
5 large egg yolks
3/4 cup lemon juice
4 tsp grated lemon rind
*try to use fresh lemons when making the filling and try buying a nice, firm cream cheese as this will help with the overall texture and consistency of the tart.
Method : Place cream cheese in a food processor and beat until smooth. Add the condensed milk, yolks, rind and lemon juice and beat well until smooth. Make sure there are no chunks of cream cheese…the mixture must be smooth. Pour into prepared crumb base.
INGREDIENTS FOR MERINGUE TOPPING
The meringue should be light, fine textured and billowy with a fine crust on the outside, without any beads of moisture clustered on the surface. I will share some tips that I have found helpful along the way.
5 Large egg whites at room temperature
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 tsp cream of tartar
1 tsp Corn flour (MAIZENA)
Method: This recipe uses a Swiss Meringue, which is made by heating the sugar and egg whites over hot water. Oven should be pre-heated to 160 degrees Celsius.
- Bring water to a simmer in a pot that will hold a bowl without it touching the water. Reduce heat to low or you can switch it off.
- Put the egg whites in the bowl and whisk preferably with a balloon whisk while adding the sugar about 2 Tablespoons at a time, whisking for about 10 seconds between additions. The secret is to dissolve the sugar in the egg white.
- When the sugar is totally dissolved add the cream of tartar and corn flour beat with an electric beater, gradually increasing the speed from low to medium high for the course of 4min. The egg whites must be thick, glossy with medium firm peaks.
- Use a spoon to drop some of the meringue in mounds around the edge of the filling. With the back of the spoon, gently spread the dollops of meringue over the entire surface of the filling all the way to the crusts edge. It is essential that all the filling be completely covered by the meringue without any air pockets. It should be anchored to the rim of the crust.
- Scoop the rest of the meringue on top with the back of the spoon to eliminate air pockets but do not deflate the meringue. Make decorative peaks with the back of the spoon.
- Bake the tart for 30min on the lower third shelf of the oven. switch the oven off and open door slightly. Leave the tart in the oven for 10 min to cool down.
- Allow tart to cool at room temperature before placing in the fridge for several hours. This is to firm up cream cheese.
- Best made the day before!!
- Be sure your beater and bowl are perfectly clean and that there are no traces of yolk in your egg whites. Any fat will keep the whites from increasing in volume.
- To prevent weeping, it is important that the sugar be fully dissolved in the egg whites. Use castor sugar here because it dissolves more quickly than granular sugar.
- The cream of tartar and corn flour gives the meringue extra stability, giving it the signature peaks.