individual lemon meringue cheesecakes
- 250g cream cheese, chopped and softened
- ¾ cup (180g) fresh ricotta
- 2 eggs
- ⅓ cup (75g) caster (superfine) sugar
- ¼ cup (60ml) lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon finely grated lemon rind
- ½ teaspoon cornflour (cornstarch)
sweet shortcrust pastry
- 1½ cups (225g) plain (all-purpose) flour
- ½ cup (80g) icing (confectioner’s) sugar, sifted
- 125g unsalted butter, chilled and chopped
- 2 egg yolks
- 1 tablespoon iced water
- ¼ cup (60ml) water, plus 1 tablespoon extra
- ¼ teaspoon cream of tartar
- 1 cup (220g) caster (superfine) sugar
- 75ml eggwhites (approximately 2 eggs)
- To make the pastry, place the flour, icing sugar and butter in a food processor and process until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. With the motor running, add the egg yolks and iced water and process until the mixture just comes together to form a dough.
- Turn out onto a clean work surface and bring together to form a ball. Roll out the dough between 2 sheets of non-stick baking paper to 3mm thick. Refrigerate the pastry for 30 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 160°C (325°F). Using a 17cm round pastry cutter, cut out 4 rounds, re-rolling the pastry if needed. Line 4 lightly greased 10cm springform cake tins, leaving 1cm excess pastry overhanging. Refrigerate for 20 minutes or until firm.
- Prick the base of each pastry case with a fork and line with non-stick baking paper. Fill with uncooked rice+ and cook for 18–20 minutes. Carefully remove the baking paper and rice and cook for a further 10–12 minutes or until the pastry is golden and dry. Set aside to cool slightly. Using a small serrated knife, carefully trim the excess pastry. Set aside.
- To make the filling, place the cream cheese, ricotta, eggs, sugar, lemon juice and lemon rind in a food processor and process until smooth. Add the cornflour and mix to combine.
- Reduce oven to 140°C (275°F). Pour the filling into the pastry cases and cook for 20–25 minutes or until just set. Remove and set aside to cool to room temperature before refrigerating for 30 minutes.
- To make the meringue, place the water, cream of tartar and half the sugar in a small saucepan over high heat. Bring to the boil, reduce heat to medium and cook for 4 minutes.
- While the sugar syrup is cooking, place the eggwhites in the bowl of an electric mixer and beat until stiff peaks form. Add the remaining sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, until smooth and glossy.
- Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Gradually pour the hot sugar syrup in a thin steady stream and beat for 4 minutes or until cool. Spoon the meringue over the cheesecakes and, using a kitchen blowtorch, lightly torch to serve++. Serves 4.
+ We recommend using uncooked rice in this step, as baking weights will be too heavy and cause the pastry to shrink when cooking.
++ If you don’t have a kitchen blowtorch, place the cheesecake under a hot grill (broiler) for 30 seconds until the meringue is caramelised.
donna hay team
Hi Tamasine, unfortunately it will be tricky to make these in large muffin tins as you will not be able to get the cases out easily after baking. You can find these cake tins at many supermarkets. Good luck! The DH team
Hi. These look amazing but I don’t have individual small cake tins. Would I be able to make them in large muffin tins?