A creamy Meyer lemon cheesecake is easier to make than you think! Even first time cheesecake makers can find success with this delicious easy to follow recipe.
Darlings, do you know what today needs? Cheesecake. And I want to thank you for reminding me of that. It’s been a long time since I posted a cheesecake recipe, even though the Godfather loves them. I also happen to be really good at making cheesecakes. My cheesecake recipes get rave reviews!
When messages started coming in raving about my caramel apple cheesecake after it had a recent viral revival, I knew it was time. The Godfather sends his thanks, by the way. So let’s get to talking about this Meyer lemon cheesecake, shall we?
What is a Meyer lemon?
Meyer lemons are a hybrid lemon. They’re a little juicier and have a slightly thinner, smoother skin than the typical lemons found at the store. Because of the lower acidity, Meyer lemons are wonderful to use in cooking and baking. I always grab a bag when I see them in season. Years I’m organized, I’ll juice, zest, and freeze some before the season is over so I can enjoy Meyer lemon treats into the summer.
If you can’t find Meyer lemons though, go ahead and use regular lemons. For this recipe, it doesn’t make a huge difference. I mean, you will notice a difference if you have a bite of Meyer lemon cheesecake and then a bite of lemon cheesecake, but you’re not going to turn down either one. So use what you have. I’m definitely not keeping this recipe for just a few months out of the year.
Getting the perfect cheesecake texture…
The definition of a perfect cheesecake texture varies from person to person, I get that. So we are using my definition. When I am making a cheesecake, I want a light but sturdy texture with a super creamy finish. It shouldn’t feel heavy in my opinion. And this cheesecake checks ALL the boxes!
Funny thing you’ll notice about this Meyer lemon cheesecake recipe… no flour! In most cheesecake recipes, you use a little bit of flour to help the structure. I use a little flour in my cheesecakes to help the structure. Well, except when I don’t and it still turns out. Which is EXACTLY what happened when I made my caramel apple cheesecake and I never even noticed.
For the longest time I couldn’t figure out why it took just a bit longer to set up than my other cheesecakes. But it turned out amazing every time, so I never thought about it. Which is silly because I’m a blogger and this is LITERALLY my job – thinking about food. Thankfully, I had a couple readers point it out, solving the mystery! And you know what, it turns out some prefer the flour-free option!
There’s not a huge difference in texture since I don’t add a lot of flour anyway, but I think the flour-less version is just a touch creamier since all the structure is provided by the eggs, sugar, and cream cheese. Yum. Also, this makes it super easy to convert to a gluten free lemon cheesecake recipe. Just substitute gluten free graham cracker crumbs in the crust and you’re good to go! I suppose you could also omit the crust… but why?
Anyway, because you don’t have any flour, you’ll want to make sure you follow the instructions so you end up with that perfect creamy cheesecake texture. My best tip for a perfect texture? Make sure your cream cheese is softened. If you try to use cold cream cheese, it won’t mix well with the sugar. You’ll end up with little bits of unmixed cream cheese in the final product.
The best way I’ve found to soften cream cheese is to use the microwave. It takes too long sitting on the counter (food safety). Unwrap the cream cheese brick completely, place on a microwave safe plate, and then microwave 10-15 seconds. Easy, quick, and ensures your ingredients will combine for a perfectly creamy cheesecake.
I hope you love this Meyer lemon cheesecake recipe. My husband has already made me promise not to go so long without making another.
- 1 3/4 cups graham cracker crumbs
- 1/2 cup butter, melted
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 5 8-ounce packages of cream cheese
- 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
- zest from 1 Meyer lemon
- 4 large eggs
- 5 tablespoons lemon juice
Optional Candied Lemon Slices
- 2 lemons
- 1 cup sugar
- 3/4 cup water
- Use a serrated peeler to carefully remove the zest from one of your lemons. Try to avoid getting too much of the white portion of the peel. Place this in a small food processor with the granulated sugar and pulse until very fine. If you don't have a small food processor, use a box grater or zesting plane and zest the lemon by hand.
- Preheat your oven to 425 F.
- Mix the crust ingredients* and press into a 9" springform pan, going up the sides. Wrap the outside of the pan with aluminum foil. Set crust aside while you make the filling.
- Beat the cream cheese, sugar, and lemon zest in a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Add eggs one at a time, scraping bowl after each addition, then slowly add the lemon juice and mix until smooth.
- Pour the filling into the prepared pie crust and place into a water bath. Basically, fill a larger pan with water about halfway up the sides of the cheesecake pan. Then, carefully place the whole thing in the oven and shut the door.
- Bake for 15 minutes at 425, then - without opening the oven door - reduce the heat to 350 and bake an additional 50-60 minutes until the cheesecake is set on top but still jiggles slightly. Don't over bake.
- Turn off the oven, crack the door open and leave the cheesecake be for 30 minutes, then remove from the water bath and place on a wire rack to cool for an additional 30 minutes, then place in the refrigerator to chill for at least 2 hours. You want to bring the temperature down slowly to prevent cracking on your cheesecake's surface.
- Serve the cheesecake as is, or top with candied lemon slices if desired!
How to Make Candied Lemon Slices
- Slice lemons in 1/4-inch slices, discarding the ends of the lemon. Remove the seeds. Place a sheet of wax paper, parchment paper, or a silicone baking mat in a baking sheet with a lip. Set aside.
- In a large skillet, stir together the water and sugar. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring occasionally.
- As soon as the sugar has dissolved, add the lemon slices in a single layer. If there's a little overlap, it's okay.
- Cook 8-10 minutes until the lemon slices look slightly translucent. Gently stir occasionally to make sure the lemon slices are well coated.
- Remove and set on the lined baking sheet and allow to cool at least 30 minutes. You can make the candied lemon slices up to 2 days in advance and store covered in the refrigerator until ready to use.
- To make zesting the lemon easy for the filling, use a serrated peeler to remove the zest from 1 lemon and place it in a small food processor with the granulated sugar. Pulse until very fine. Then proceed with the recipe.
- It's important that your cream cheese be at room temperature or it won't mix well. A quick way to soften cream cheese is to unwrap it completely, place the brick on a microwave safe plate, and microwave 12-15 seconds at full power.
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