I love lemon like people love chocolate. If you placed a piece of chocolate cake or lemon meringue pie in front of me I will always go for the lemon meringue pie. Lucky for me, meyer lemons are back in season and I plan on taking full advantage of this. Meyer lemons have less of an acidic punch than regular lemons, have thinner skins and have a bit of a floral scent to them. I absolutely adore meyer lemons! Have you ever tried putting a slice of meyer lemon in your water? It adds such a nice floral citrus fragrant to it. One of my favorite bedtime drinks is a cup of hot water infused with a slice of meyer lemon and a spoonful of honey. It’s so soothing and calming – perfect to get you relaxed and ready for bed.
One of the first things I made with my bag of meyer lemons was mini meyer lemon meringue cheesecakes. Wow that was a mouthful! I’m a huge fan of mini cheesecakes because they’re the perfect portion size and I don’t need to worry about trying to finish an entire slice. This recipe was a success! The cheesecakes had a subtle lemon flavor and the meringue really helped to balance out the richness and heaviness of the cheesecake. I did find that the graham cracker crust overpowered the lemon flavor so next time I will revert to using social tea biscuits for the crust like I usually do.
Mini Meyer Lemon Meringue Cheesecakes (adapted from Anna Olson)
- 1-1/2 cup graham cracker crumbs
- 1-1/2 tbsp sugar
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
- 2 8 ounce packages cream cheese, room temperature
- 2/3 cup sugar
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 1 tablespoon finely grated lemon zest
- 6 tablespoons fresh meyer lemon juice
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2 large eggs, room temperature
- 2 large egg whites
- 1/4 teaspoon lemon juice
- 3 tablespoons sugar
- 1-1/2 tsp cornstarch
- Preheat oven to 350°F and line 2 muffin tins with paper cups.
- To make crust, combine all ingredients until evenly blended and crumbly. Press into bottom of muffins cups. Bake for 10 minutes, then cool.
- To make cheesecake, reduce oven to 325°F. Beat cream cheese until smooth and fluffy, then gradually add sugar while beating, scraping the sides of the bowl often. Beat in cornstarch, lemon zest, lemon juice and vanilla. Add eggs one at a time, scraping well after each addition. Spoon or pipe cheesecake filling into cooled mini muffin tins and bake for about 18 minutes, until cheesecake still moves a little when pan is shaken gently. Let cheesecakes cool to room temperature. Meringue layer can be made once cheesecake have cooled. Cheesecakes can be chilled overnight and then finished the next day.
- For meringue, preheat oven to 375?F. With an electric mixer, whip egg whites with lemon juice until foamy. While whipping, gradually pour in sugar and whip on one speed less than highest until whites hold a stiff peak (the meringue stands upright when whisk is lifted). Whisk in cornstarch. Fill a piping bag fitted with a large star or plain tip and pipe on top of each cheesecake. Bake pie for about 6 minutes, just until meringue browns lightly. Or using a blowtorch, lightly torch the tops of the meringue. Allow cheesecakes to chill for at least an hour and up to a day before serving.