Saturday, July 17, 2021

Lemon and poppy seed meringue cheesecake

My mum has sent me some very nice recipes out of her local paper recently.  One that particularly caught my eye was for a lemon and poppy seed meringue cheesecake, by Phoebe Wood.  

Unfortunately, my circumstances mean that it was not realistic to make the whole cheesecake.  Instead, I quartered the recipe, and made two 6" tart versions.  They are not as visually stunning as the whole cheesecake, but they tasted great.

The cheesecake is comprised of a pastry base, with a lemon curd and poppy seed flavoured filling, and topped with sour cream and meringue.  The meringue was also meant to contain poppy seeds, but I forgot. 

I think the mini tarts are cute:

 To make this cheesecake (full recipe), you will need:


1 cup plain flour
1/4 cup sugar
75g butter, chopped


150g sugar
350g cream cheese, at room temperature and cut into cubes
350g ricotta 
200g lemon curd (I used this Donna Hay recipe to make some)
3 eggs
1 tablespoon poppy seeds
180g white chocolate, melted and cooled
200g sour cream (I used Greek yoghurt)


3 egg whites
3/4 cup sugar
3 teaspoons poppy seeds

Preheat your oven to 180 degrees Celsius and grease a 22cm springform pan

To make the pastry, put the flour and sugar into a food processor and blitz to combine.  Add the butter, and blitz until crumbs form.  Add 2 tablespoons or so of cold water, a little at a time, until the dough just comes together.    Press the pastry into the base of the prepared springform pan.  Put a few prick marks in the pastry with the tines of a fork. Line the pastry with a piece of alfoil, shiny side down, and cover with baking beans or rice.   Bake for 25 minutes in the preheated oven, then remove the baking beans and foil, and bake for a further 5-10 minutes or until the pastry is golden.  Remove it from the oven and allow it to cool.

Reduce the heat of the oven to 150 degrees Celsius.  In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the cream cheese until smooth.  Slowly beat in the sugar, then beat in the ricotta and lemon curd until smooth.    Beat in 2 eggs and the poppy seeds until combined, then pour the mixture over the cooled pastry base.  Bake for 1 hour or until just set with a slight wobble in the centre.

Whisk the melted chocolate, sour cream and remaining egg together in a bowl until smooth.  Pour it over the top of the baked cheesecake, and bake the cheesecake for a further 10 minutes.  Turn off the oven, leaving the cheesecake inside and the door slightly ajar, until the cheesecake cools completely. 

Remove the cooled cheesecake form the oven and chill in the fridge for at least 4 hours.

For the meringue, put the eggwhites and sugar in a heatproof bowl and set over a pan of just simmering water, whisking by hand until the sugar dissolves.  Remove the bowl from the heat, and beat with a handmixer until the meringue is thick, glossy and completely cooled.  Whisk in the poppy seeds, then transfer it to a piping bag fitted with a 7cm plain nozzle and pipe in a spiral over the top of the cheesecake, piping form the centre outwards.

Using a kitchen blowtorch, brown the top of the meringue.  Serve immediately or chill the cheesecake in the fridge until needed.

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