Monday, April 12, 2010

Lemon Meringue Cheesecake

How was your Easter? Did you have enough delicious food and family to satisfy you for awhile?

We spent Easter dinner at my In-laws. The meal was very nice; the company even better. I wasn't asked to bring anything, but I like to contribute. I had also wanted an excuse to make this dessert!

I found this recipe on Betty Crocker and was instantly drooling. I followed the directions exactly, but the cake turned out differently then I thought it would. It wasn't really cheesecake texture. It was more like a lemon meringue with a cheesecake crust. That didn't stop it from being mouthwatering good though! It is very rich, so thin slices served with
milk or water are best! We had a large amount of strawberries at dinner as well, and those went with the lemon perfectly!

Lemon Meringue Cheesecake

Prep time: 30 min.
Total Time: 7 hours!!

1 box yellow cake mix
1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened
1 teas grated lemon peel (if you don't have fresh lemon, this can be omitted)

2 packages (8oz each) cream cheese, softened- and at room temp. to prevent cracking.
3/4 cup sugar
3 packages (3.5 oz each) lemon pudding (You know... this might be why the texture was different! I used instant pudding mix. But reading this again...and looking at reviews- they mean the pre-made puddings in a cup! The original wording was "from a 4-pack container". If you try it that way, let me know!)
1/2 cup sour cream
3 eggs
2 cups frozen (thawed) whipped topping

Heat oven to 300°F. Spray bottom and side of 10-inch springform pan with baking spray with flour. Wrap foil around outside of pan to catch drips.

Reserve 1/4 cup of the cake mix; set aside. In large bowl, beat remaining cake mix, butter and lemon peel with electric mixer on low speed until crumbly. Press in bottom and 1 1/2 inches up side of pan.

In same large bowl, beat reserved cake mix, the cream cheese, sugar, pudding and sour cream on medium speed until smooth and creamy. Beat in eggs, one at a time, until mixed. Pour over crust. (Mine was a big glob of meringue, so I just smoothed it out the best I could)

Bake 1 hour 20 minutes to 1 hour 35 minutes or until edges are set but center of cheesecake jiggles slightly when moved. Turn oven off; open oven door at least 4 inches. Leave cheesecake in oven 30 minutes longer.

Remove cheesecake from oven; place on cooling rack. Without releasing side of pan, run knife around edge of pan to loosen cheesecake. Cool in pan on cooling rack 30 minutes.

Cover loosely; refrigerate 4 hours or overnight. Remove side of pan before serving. Pipe or spoon whipped topping around outside edge of cheesecake. This is excellent with fresh strawberries on top as well! Store in refrigerator.

** This cake won everyone's vote, although I might try it with pre-made pudding next time!