The Ultimate Vanilla Baked Cheesecake Recipe

The Ultimate Vanilla Baked Cheesecake Recipe

Ultimate Vanilla Baked Cheesecake

Vanilla Baked Cheesecake is one of the most glorious desserts on earth. Fact. Tangy, creamy, smooth and rich. Paired with a sharp fruit compote, it is even better! Total, TOTAL bliss.

If you’ve read my previous posts in my Perfect Baked Cheesecake Series, you will know that I was absolutely petrified of making baked cheesecake – for yeeeears.

There are so many things that can go wrong with baked cheesecake. It can sink, curdle and crack or (on the other side of the spectrum) you can be too gentle and end up with an under-cooked cheesecake.

In most cooking/baking shows, we constantly see all the dramas and dangers surrounding the humble cheesecake. BUT, you honestly don’t need to be afraid – at all!

 

Let’s Get Technical

A perfect baked Vanilla Cheesecake is, seriously, super straight forward.

The ingredients are simple, but the METHOD is where things really go down

Therefore I advise you to READ MY PERFECT BAKED CHEESECAKE GUIDE FIRST, before diving into the recipe! These tips will prep you for making your own flawless Baked Vanilla Cheesecake.

This guide covers all the essential tips you need to avoid any cracks, curdling, sinking, shrinking, etc. I also discuss an alternative method to the traditional (and indiscreetly tedious) water bath baking method.

Open the Perfect Baked Cheesecake Guide in a separate tab and give it a read. Remember, method determines at least 50% of the quality of your bake! Method matters.

A lush, New York Style Vanilla Baked Cheesecake; buttery vanilla pastry with super creamy, dense (but not too dense), smooth and tangy cheesecake. Deeeeelectable! Eat it as is or add a topping; fresh fruit, salted caramel & nuts or a fruit compote. #newyorkcheesecake #bakedcheesecake #cheesecakerecipe #perfectcheesecake

 

My Baked Cheesecake Recipe Development

There are many takes on baked vanilla cheesecake. Many folks insist on using only cream cheese, eggs and sugar.

I do feel that using only cream cheese makes the cake a bit TOO cheesy though – in texture and flavour. Obviously a cheesecake needs to be cheesy, but I love it when the flavour is mellowed out just a tad with some sour cream inside the batter.

The first vanilla cheesecake I made was a recipe by Tyler Florence. He is constantly on a quest to make the ULTIMATE of something. My kind of person! His vanilla cheesecake recipe contained sour cream which gave the cheesecake a beautiful tang.

The addition of sour cream also rounded out the flavour of the cream cheese wonderfully! His recipe contained a bit too much sour cream for me though. Sorry Tyler!

I also tried a recipe by Gemma Strafford once. It was lovely, but I really missed the tang of the sour cream.

Some more influence came along from Ashlee Marie. Her recipe didn’t use any cream or sour cream inside the batter, but her baking and mixing methods for vanilla cheesecake were life changing.

For the cheesecake pastry, refer to my previous post in my Perfect Cheesecake Series – click here. I’ll include another link inside this vanilla cheesecake recipe (further down) when you will need it.

I utterly ADORE this vanilla cheesecake recipe… It’s a New York Style Cheesecake; buttery vanilla pastry with super creamy, dense (but not too dense), smooth and tangy cheesecake. Deeeeelectable!

It can be eaten as is, or you can add a topping. These are my favourite toppings:

  1. A Fruit Compote (recipe listed below this baked cheesecake recipe).
  2. Salted caramel & toasted pecans. I recommend that you still add the thin white chocolate layer on top of the cheesecake (as described in the recipe below) so that the caramel doesn’t soak into your perfect baked cheesecake.
  3. Dress it up with fresh, seasonal fruit. For this I like to ditch the white chocolate layer and add some of my ultimate vanilla cream cheese frosting on top of the cheesecake and then add the fruit on top of that. Dust the fruit with icing sugar to make it look gorgeous and festive!

 

Here is my ultimate Baked Vanilla Cheesecake Recipe!

5.0 from 1 reviews
The Ultimate Vanilla Baked Cheesecake Recipe
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Serves: 9 inch cheesecake
Ingredients
FOR THE PASTRY:
  • 230 g All-Purpose Flour
  • 75 g Icing Sugar
  • 130 g Butter, cold and cubed
  • 50 g Egg Yolks (about 2 ½ yolks)
  • ½ Tbsp Vanilla Extract
FOR THE CHEESECAKE:
  • 1000 g Cream Cheese (I use medium fat – 25% fat)
  • 320 g White Sugar
  • 5 g Salt
  • 240 g Egg (4 X-large eggs)
  • 200 g Sour Cream
  • 1 Tbsp Vanilla Extract
FOR THE FRUIT COMPOTE:
  • 220 g Fruit of choice
  • 120 g White Sugar
  • 1 Tbsp Lemon Juice
  • 45 g Water
  • 13 g Corn Starch
FOR THE WHITE CHOCOLATE LAYER:
  • 85 g White Chocolate
  • ½ Tbsp Flavourless Vegetable Oil
Instructions
FOR THE PASTRY:
  1. Refer to my previous post, Cheesecake Pastry, for instructions.
FOR THE CHEESECAKE:
  1. Preheat your oven to 300˚F/150˚C and move an oven rack to the center of your oven. Place the largest roasting tray you have on the bottom rack of your oven.
  2. Use a stand mixer to make this vanilla cheesecake. Do not use a hand mixer. If you don’t have a stand mixer, then rather mix the batter by hand. Place the room temperature cream cheese in the bowl of your stand mixer. With the paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese on medium low speed till smooth.
  3. Add in the sugar and salt. Beat on medium-low speed for 30 seconds. Leave to stand for 5 minutes and beat again on medium-low speed till sugar is dissolved (30 seconds).
  4. Scrape down the paddle, sides and bottom of the bowl. Beat again on medium-low speed till smooth (30 seconds).
  5. From here on out ONLY mix on the lowest and slowest turtle speed possible. If your mixer doesn’t have the option to go very slow, then do the rest by hand.
  6. Crack all the eggs in a separate bowl. Stir lightly with a fork till the yolks are broken.
  7. Pour more or less 1 egg at a time into the cream cheese mixture with the mixer going on its slowest speed, or stir by hand. It is crucial to not whip in any air.
  8. Add the remaining egg in in 3 sessions. Don’t watch it the whole time, you will be SO tempted to increase the speed. It is a great opportunity to spend some time on Pinterest or learn a language on the Duo Lingo App (I’ve become 7% more fluent in French, just from cheesecake mixing time! Haha!).
  9. Before mixing in the last egg, scrape down the sides and bottom of your bowl thoroughly and mix again on lowest speed.
  10. At this point, start boiling a full kettle of water on the side.
  11. Stir the sour cream and vanilla into the cheesecake batter by hand to avoid overmixing.
  12. Pour the vanilla cheesecake batter into the semi-baked pastry.
  13. Place the cheesecake in the center of your oven. Fill the empty roasting tray with just boiled water. Bake for 1 hour.
  14. Turn the cheesecake 180 degrees around. Bake for another 35 minutes. Switch off the oven with the cheesecake still inside and the door still closed.
  15. After 5 minutes, leave the oven door ajar. Leave the cheesecake inside the switched off oven for 1h30.
  16. Remove from the oven and leave to cool at room temperature for 1 hour. Transfer to the fridge and leave it in there overnight.
FOR THE FRUIT COMPOTE:
  1. Place the fruit, sugar, lemon juice and salt in a saucepan over medium heat. Stir frequently and allow to cook for 5 - 7 minutes till the sugar is dissolved. Smash some of the berries with a fork during the cooking process.
  2. In a small bowl, dissolve the corn flour in the water. Add it to the cooking berries while stirring constantly. Allow to cook for about 2 minutes, while stirring, so that the corn flour gets cooked through. The compote should be thickened. Set aside to cool.
FOR THE WHITE CHOCOLATE LAYER:
  1. The next morning you can decorate the cheesecake! There may be some condensation on the surface of the cheesecake; dab the surface with some paper towels to absorb the moisture. Leave the cheesecake inside its tin.
  2. Heat the white chocolate and oil together in the microwave in 30 second bursts till completely melted. Pour it over the surface of the cheesecake and immediately tilt the cheesecake in all directions till the surface is completely covered with a thin layer of white chocolate. Refrigerate for 10 minutes to set.
FINISHING THE VANILLA BAKED CHEESECAKE:
  1. Carefully push up the bottom of the tin all around the cheesecake to loosen the sides. Place the cheesecake on top of a mug or sturdy glass, gently pressing down the sides of the tin.
  2. Lift the bare sided cheesecake back onto your work surface. Slide a large, smooth edged knife under the pastry to loosen the cheesecake from the bottom of the tin. I like to go all around the edges first before attempting to loosen the center-bottom. Push the cheesecake gently, with a cupped hand, onto your cake stand/cake board/serving platter.
  3. Lastly, top the white chocolate layer with your cooled fruit compote and spread it out evenly.
  4. Cut slices with a hot, dry knife. Enjoy!!!

If you’re into Baked Cheesecake you’ll LOVE these related posts:

  1. First there’s the Ultimate Guide to Perfect Baked Cheesecake
  2. Then there’s my Cheesecake Pastry Recipe (includes chocolate variation) and Walk-Through.
  3. Then my Chocolate Swirl Baked Cheesecake recipe.

Chat soon!

Aurelia

Got a question? Something to add? Let’s chat in the comments section down below! (I respond to every single comment)

Cheesecake Pastry Recipe – With 2 Flavour Variations!

Cheesecake Pastry Recipe – With 2 Flavour Variations!

Cheesecake Pastry

Cheesecake Pastry was not something I grew up with at all! Come on, we all mostly eat cookie crust cheesecakes – and they truly are fantastic! Who can ever manage to figure out if they like cheesecake’s crust or filling more?? BOTH are super delicious.

The slightly crunchy texture of the crust along with the flawlessly smooth cheesecake filling is the highlight of Dessert World.

BUT, did you know that Cheesecake Pastry was actually the original crust used by the clever Greeks and Romans? (Read more about the history of cheesecake).

Since they are generally considered as geniuses, I always knew deep down that cheesecake pastry might be something to look into.

Honestly, my decision to start making cheesecake with a cheesecake pastry base was due to the nature of my Home Bakery. I had to figure out how to make a crust sturdy enough to handle being moved over to a disposable cake board.

Crushed cookie bases are quick to prepare, but super difficult to transfer to a different dish, serving platter, cake board etc. Typically, you leave the cheesecake on the bottom of your spring-form cake tin and use it as a “cake board”.

cheesecake pastry recipe plain or chocolate

Problem with this idea is that I can’t exactly expect my clients to return my cake tin’s bottom. Too tedious for them and me. Cheesecake Pastry is much sturdier and still contains gorgeous butter, so you aren’t missing anything!

What Makes Cheesecake Pastry Different?

There are a few differences between cheesecake pastry and regular shortcrust pastry. Cheesecake pastry typically contains more egg, because egg is a great binding agent. It provides extra strength and stability to the pastry.

I would even go so far as to say it provides a small amount of elasticity. Shortcrust pastry, in my opinion, needs to pretty much have the texture of shortbread. I did a very thorough post on Shortcrust Pastry earlier this year.

It might be a bit unorthodox, but I like to add vanilla extract to my cheesecake pastry instead of water. It really bumps up the flavour and compliments the cheesecake so beautifully!

Perks of Using Cheesecake Pastry

  • The biggest perk for me is that it protects the cheesecake during baking. It COMPLETELY eliminates the risk for over-cooked/browned/curdled edges around the cheesecake.
  • It keeps the cheesecake moister during baking since the delicate cheesecake filling never touches the hot and dehydrating aluminium sides of the tin.
  • As I mentioned before, it makes the finished cheesecake a BREEZE to transfer onto a cake board or cake stand without lending out your tin’s bottom.
  • It really is super delicious! Since I’ve switched to cheesecake pastry, I’ve never had the desire to go back to crushed cookie bases.
  • It is really not difficult at all! In a food processor, it really takes like 5 minutes. I’m going to give you step by step instructions so that you can also make your own cheesecake pastry!

*SUPER IMPORTANT!! Before you make this Cheesecake Pastry and proceed with making a Baked Cheesecake, I strongly urge you to read my post PERFECT BAKED CHEESECAKE | THE ULTIMATE GUIDE.

Cheesecake Pastry - easy and super delicious! VANILLA or CHOCOLATE Cheesecake Pastry variations available to compliment your favourite cheesecake recipe. #bakedcheesecake #cheesecakepastry #cheesecakerecipe

5.0 from 1 reviews
Cheesecake Pastry - Plain or Chocolate
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Serves: 9 inch base
Ingredients
  • 230 g All-purpose Flour (sub 40 g cocoa if making chocolate pastry)
  • 75 g Pure Icing Sugar
  • 130 g Salted Butter, cold and cubed
  • 50 g Free-range Egg Yolks (2 egg yolks + 10g of whole beaten egg)
  • ½ Tbsp Vanilla Extract
Instructions
  1. Place flour (and cocoa powder if making choc pastry) in a food processor. Cut the butter into a 1 cm dice and add to the food processor. Try to distribute the cubes of butter evenly in the flour so that they don’t stick together.
  2. Process on high speed until resembling even bread crumbs.
  3. Add icing sugar and process for about 10 seconds on high speed.
  4. Add the egg yolks and vanilla. Process on high speed for about 15 seconds. The pastry will not form a ball inside the processor.
  5. cheesecake pastry process
  6. Pour the crumbly mixture onto a work surface – do not add any extra liquid! Press all the crumbs together and press the pastry together till more or less smooth. This should take only about 3 minutes. Form the pastry into a ball and squash it flat to about 1cm thick - this helps it to chill faster.
  7. Wrap the pastry in cling wrap and refrigerate it for 15 minutes.
  8. Cut a 30 cm x 30 cm square of non-stick parchment paper. Place the chilled pastry on the paper and roll out with a lightly floured rolling pin to an EVEN 3mm thickness, roughly in a circular shape. The parchment paper makes it super easy to turn the pastry when rolling!
  9. Spray/butter the inside of your 9 inch (22,5 cm) tin. Place the loose bottom face side down onto the pastry. Cut around the sides of the tin’s bottom and also at 12, 3, 6 and 9 o’clock to divide the excess pastry into 4 strips.
  10. Remove the strips one by one and place to one side. Press down on the tin’s bottom so that the pastry squishes out slightly underneath. I find this little lip of pastry helps to combine the pastry on the sides with the pastry on the bottom.
  11. Flip the parchment paper and tin’s bottom. Peel away the paper.
  12. Drop your tin’s bottom back into your tin and fill in the sides of the tin with your pastry strips using your fingers. Do not worry about a smooth finish just yet.
  13. Preheat your oven to 180ᵒC/350ᵒF.
  14. Place your tin in the freezer for 5 minutes. Remove from freezer and smooth the edges and bottom with a metal spoon. Return to freezer for a further 10 minutes or until frozen solid.
  15. Cut a large piece of heavy weight foil (enough to line the bottom AND go up and over the sides.) Spray the dull side of the foil with non-stick cooking spray. Smooth the greased side of the foil directly onto the pastry. Leave no pastry exposed. Be sure to press the foil down very snugly into the corners of the cheesecake pastry. Run your finger over the top edge as well to maintain the shape of the pastry during baking.
  16. Fill the cavity with dry baking beans (I prefer rice).
  17. Bake one notch below the center of your oven for 35 minutes, turning after 15 minutes.
  18. Remove from the oven and leave to stand (with foil and rice still inside) for 10 minutes.
  19. Remove the foil and rice and proceed to fill with cheesecake filling. Bake again for as long as your cheesecake recipe states.

I trust that these simple an thorough steps will enable you to make your own amazing cheesecake pastry! Please let me know how you get on by using #philosophyofyum or even tagging me @philosophyofyum.

If you’re into Cheesecake you’ll love these related posts:

Perfect Baked Cheesecake | The Ultimate Guide!

Perfect Vanilla Baked Cheesecake Recipe

Chocolate Swirl Baked Cheesecake Recipe

Chat soon!

Aurelia

Got a question? Something to add? Let’s chat in the comments section down below! (I respond to every single comment)

Shortcrust Pastry – Quick & Easy Recipe

Shortcrust Pastry – Quick & Easy Recipe

Shortcrust Pastry – Easy & Quick Recipe

Shortcrust pastry used to SCARE me. I saw it as this shrinking, complicated fragile nemesis only to be conquered by professional chefs. In reality it’s so incredibly easy! It is really even easier to make than any cake.

It’s super quick and in a few moments you have a crisp, golden, buttery piece of heaven! Not to mention all the possibilities for fillings and flavours!

Egg or No Egg:

I’ve tried a few different recipes over the years; some with egg, some without, some with only egg yolks. I prefer not to involve eggs because they can diminish the buttery flavour of pastry and make the pastry less short.

I think eggs work extremely well in cheesecake pastry because you need that extra structure to carry the weight of the heavy cheesecake. I only use eggs inside pastry for practical purposes and when absolutely necessary.

Blind Baking:

I used to dismiss recipes as soon as I read the words “blind bake”. BUT it’s not a big deal at all! It’s so easy and straight forward.

We need to blind bake pastry to keep it in the shape we want it. ALL shortcrust pastry WILL shrink during baking when water evaporates from the dough. All shortcrust pastry WILL change shape while baking, but we can minimize this with blind baking the RIGHT way.

Important notes on blind baking that make it a breeze:

  • Use heavy weight foil, NOT baking parchment. It yields the best results and can handle the weight of baking beans etc. Remember to place the dull side of the foil (and spray it with non-stick spray) on the pastry as it has non-stick properties. Always cut a generous piece of foil so there’s enough to wrap around the upper edges of the tin – otherwise the exposed pastry will cook faster than all the rest under the foil. When you’ve frozen your pastry solid, press the greased foil directly onto the pastry in the tin. Don’t leave any air gaps between the pasty and the foil!
  • Use lentils or rice for “baking beans”. Lentils are smaller, so they get into those edges a lot better than large baking beans can.
  • When you’ve finished blind baking the shortcrust pastry, remove the lentils/rice by scooping them out into a bowl. If you try to lift everything out in one go, the foil will tear.
  • Once you’ve removed your blind baking geat, brush the inside of your pastry thinly with egg white. Return to the oven and bake till golden. The egg white seals your pastry so that a wet filling won’t make the pastry soggy.

shortcrust pastry | shortcrust pastry recipe | easy pastry recipe

Shortcrust Pastry Recipe Introduction:

This is my go-to recipe for shortcrust pastry. There’s no “rest for 2 hours or overnight” thing going on. You merely chill it for 10 minutes, roll it out (no resting in between), freeze it for 5 minutes, smooth it out, freeze it for 10 minutes and then bake it!

I’ve also included step by step photos of the method I use to painlessly transfer the pastry to a tin.

You’ll need a 9″ loose bottom cake tin. I like to use a cake tin because I like a straight, smooth finish on my tarts, but you are welcome to use a fluted tart tin as well.

I love using Salted Butter in pastry. Most people prefer to use unsalted butter so that you can control the amount of salt that goes into your bakes. This makes a lot of sense and I actually agree, but with pastry, salted butter is just incredible.

If you insist on using unsalted butter, then add 1/2 tsp salt to the recipe.

You can find the instructions for MINI TART SHELLS after the main recipe!

5.0 from 1 reviews
Shortcrust Pastry
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Serves: 10
Ingredients
  • 170 g Cake Flour
  • 40 g Icing Sugar
  • 110 g Salted Butter, ice cold
  • 1 Tbsp Ice Cold water
Instructions
  1. Place flour in a food processor. Cut the butter into a 1 cm dice and add to the food processor. Try to distribute the cubes of butter evenly in the flour so that they don’t stick together.
  2. Process on high speed until resembling fine bread crumbs.
  3. Add icing sugar and process for about 10 seconds on high speed.
  4. Add the water and process on high speed for about 15 seconds. The pastry will not form a ball inside the processor.
  5. Pour the crumbly mixture onto a work surface – do not add any extra liquid! Press all the crumbs together and work the pastry till smooth and silky. This should take only about 3 minutes. Form the pastry into a ball and squash it flat to a 2 cm thickness.
  6. Wrap the pastry in cling wrap and refrigerate it for 10 minutes.
  7. Cut a 30 cm x 30 cm square of non-stick parchment paper. Place the chilled pastry directly on the paper. Flour only your rolling pin and roll out to a 3 mm thickness roughly in a circular shape by turning your pastry 90 degrees after every second roll or so. The parchment paper makes it super easy to turn the pastry when rolling!
  8. Spray/butter the inside of a 9 inch tin. Place the loose bottom face side down onto the pastry. Cut around the sides of the tin’s bottom and also at 12, 3, 6 and 9 o’clock to divide the excess pastry into 4 strips.
  9. Remove the strips one by one and place to one side. Press down on the tin’s bottom so that the pastry squishes out slightly underneath. I find this little lip of pastry helps to combine the pastry on the sides with the pastry on the bottom.
  10. Flip the parchment paper and tin’s bottom. Peel away the paper.
  11. Drop your tin’s bottom back into your tin and fill in the sides of the tin with your pastry strips using your fingers. I make the edges about 1 inch high. You will use all the pastry. Do not worry about a smooth finish just yet.
  12. Preheat your oven to 180ᵒC/350ᵒF.
  13. Place your tin in the freezer for 5 minutes. Remove from freezer and smooth the edges and bottom with a metal spoon. Return to freezer for a further 10 minutes or until frozen solid.
  14. Line the entire tin with heavy weight foil (enough to go up over the sides. Leave no pastry exposed). Grease the dull side of your foil with non-stick spray and smooth the foil onto the pastry. Don't leave any air gaps between the foil and the pastry. Fill the cavity with baking beans (I prefer lentils because they sink into the nooks and crannies extremely well).
  15. Bake in the center of your oven for 30 minutes, turning after 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and leave to stand for 5 minutes. If you are planning to bake a filling inside the pastry, blind bake for 20 minutes, turning after 10 minutes.
  16. Remove the baking beans and then the foil. Prick the bottom of the pastry with a fork. Egg-wash the inside of the pastry with egg white only. This creates a nice seal on the pastry so that it doesn’t go soggy when holding a wet filling.
  17. Return to the oven and bake for a further 10 - 15 minutes, turning after 6 minutes. The pastry should be very lightly golden.shortcrust pastry easyIf you are planning to bake a filling inside the pastry, bake for 8 minutes, turning after 4 minutes. It won't be golden.
  18. Leave to cool completely and transfer to a cake board or special plate/stand if you wish – the pastry is stable enough to handle the transfer.

 

Mini Tart Shells

You can also use this recipe to make 10 perfect little tart shells in a regular muffin tin!

  1. Spray a standard size, non-stick muffin tin‘s holes thoroughly.
  2. Divide the pastry evenly between 10 holes. About 34 g of pastry each.
  3. Press it out evenly in each hole. Chill in the freezer for 5 minutes.
  4. Carefully smooth out the top and inner edges with a teaspoon. Freeze for 10 minutes till the pastry is hard.
  5. Line each pastry shell with heavy weight foil and fill the cavity in the foil with rice. Make sure your pastry is rock solid before you do this!
  6. Bake one notch below the middle of your oven for 8 minutes. Rotate the pan 180 degrees and bake for another 8 minutes.
  7. Remove from the oven. Remove blind baking gear. Lightly brush the inside of each tart shell with egg white to create a seal. Return to oven for another 8 minutes, rotating halfway through.
  8. When they reach an even golden brown colour, they are done! Allow to cool completely before removing from the muffin tin.

Thanks for reading! I’m quite confident that this shortcrust pastry recipe will become your go-to recipe as well.

I’ve used it in my Perfect Lemon Meringue Pie recipe as well as in my Milk Tart recipe.

Chat soon!

Aurelia 🙂

Got a question? Something to add? Let’s chat in the comments section down below! (I respond to every single comment)

Perfect, Fail-Proof Lemon Meringue Pie

Perfect, Fail-Proof Lemon Meringue Pie

Perfect, Fail-Proof Lemon Meringue Pie

Lemon Meringue Pie is HEAVENLY, but it can be a VERY tricky dessert to make…

The 3 different components (pastry, filling and meringue) require perfect execution. 

One of the biggest challenges, for me, was developing a recipe that isn’t so blindingly sweet! Sheesh.

After eating a slice of lemon meringue pie you often hear that heroic phrase booming in your head “I’m NEVER eating anything sweet again!” Ha. Well, at least that’s the sentiment for the next 30 minutes post-dessert.

So, what makes the perfect Lemon Meringue Pie?

I want the slice to hold, have a zingy and buttery flavour with smooth, soft and crunchy textures going on.

No weepy liquids anywhere. Definitely no runny filling, but also not a borderline yellow rubber experience either. Crispy, buttery pastry is an absolute must!

My Journey with Lemon Meringue Pie

I avoided making Lemon Meringue for YEARS!

Someone would try to order it, but I would always find a way to unfortunately be “out of town” or “fully booked” on those days.

Truth is, I was petrified of making Lemon Meringue pie! This fear stemmed from watching The Great Australian Bake Off Season 1.

Every week the bakers had a technical challenge and in week 2 it was the humble Lemon Meringue Pie. One contestant n particular was super excited about the challenge – Bliss. She baked these pies for her Mom all the time!

On this day however, her pie was a total disaster…

My husband and I were watching the show together and we were just cringing all the way through the episode! 

Thing is, MOST of the contestants were having so much drama with this challenge! I think only a quarter of them didn’t have a runny filling.

Needless to say, Lemon Meringue Pie climbed to the top of my chart of “Most difficult things to bake.”

I do believe that Bliss has baked a ton of successful Lemon Meringue Pies for her Mom, but in GABO technical challenges you have to bake the recipe they give you. You may know by now that method matters to me more than anything else when it comes to baking.

I realized however, that the success of your Lemon Meringue pie does ride completely on the quality of your recipe.

I set out on a mission.

For about 1 year I watched EVERY SINGLE Youtube video on Lemon Meringue Pie.

There had to be a recipe that doesn’t waste 8 egg whites or (on the flip side) waste 8 egg yolks.

A recipe that doesn’t require bizarre, temperamental gelatin setting excursions. In short, there had to be a recipe that is user friendly and yields perfect results!

Technical Insights

The Base:

Honestly, the base is really up to you. Some people prefer crushed cookies with melted butter which is really delicious.

I prefer pastry, because I love the crunchier result it gives you. It is also just more buttery and doesn’t crumble apart when you lift out a slice.

Another reason I love this pastry recipe is because it is firm enough to slide the entire pie onto a cake board or another serving platter!

The Lemon Filling:

I tried out all the different recipes I could find for lemon fillings and I must say that cooked lemon fillings are definitely a lot less sweet than uncooked ones. I’ve also found that uncooked filings often do not hold their shape.

So what are the options?

Baking a lemon filling in the oven is too tricky. It can so easily over bake and curdle. NOT user friendly at all. Stove top Fillings are the answer – really!

There are a few different approaches to Stove top Lemon Fillings as well. Some folks have a pure lemon curd approach (Kitchen Conundrums and Gemma Strafford), but I find the flavour is just way too intense and sweet instead of balanced.

These lemon curd fillings contain very little eggs and the only liquid comes from lemon juice which explains why the flavour is just too intense.

A BIG downer with these recipes was also that you had to strain the curd at the end… It is really thick and takes up to 40 minutes of serious elbow grease to force it through a sieve. Absolutely terrible for little, lightweight people like me.

For a while I made a lemon filling that sets with gelatin by Bruno Albouze. While the flavour was quite nice, the filling always started melting when you took the pie out of the fridge for a while! Not cool. There had to be a filling that was not so sensitive to temperature.

The answer came through The Joy of Baking.

Stephanie Jaworski makes the most wonderful Lemon Filling that uses lemon juice as well as water which makes for a balanced, yet tart lemon filling.

There are no weird or tedious methods, so all in all the whole experience is very user friendly. I do add a bit more lemon juice and lemon zest than she does, but her recipe is brilliant as well.

This lemon filling has NEVER flopped or come out on the runny side and it is so easy to make!

Another reason I love Stephanie’s video on lemon meringue pie is that she speaks about another technical issue to help the meringue adhere to the filling. The filling should be warm when you add the meringue on top. This also prevents weeping. So cool!

The Meringue:

The first video I watched on the meringue part of Lemon Meringue Pie was by Kitchen Conundrums. Fantastic video! Thomas Joseph makes all 3 of the different meringue types (French, Swiss and Italian) and tests them on top of Lemon Meringue Pie.

You can see clearly that French Meringue will end up weeping and slide around on top of your lemon filling. This is because the egg whites have not been cooked properly. I find that even when French meringue has been broiled in the oven, it will still weep.

I LOVE Italian Meringue. Some folks prefer Swiss, but my standing mixer doesn’t have a heat proof bowl so I had to revert to Italian meringue. It is such a soft and super smooth meringue – oh my!

To me it is also the least labour intensive meringue because the standing mixer and stove do ALL the work. The only way this meringue can cause weeping is if you over whip the egg whites before the sugar is added.

In Swiss and Italian Meringue the egg whites are already cooked, so you don’t need to return the pie to the oven. I use a little blowtorch to brown my meringue, but you are also welcome to broil it in the oven if you don’t have a blowtorch.

No weepy meringue, a PERFECTLY set lemon filling and a buttery crust. THIS is the PERFECT, Fail-Proof Lemon Meringue Pie! Click through to get the recipe! #lemonpie #lemonmeringue #homebaking #baking

So here we go – this is my recipe for Perfect, Fail-Proof Lemon Meringue Pie 🙂

5.0 from 2 reviews
Perfect Lemon Meringue Pie
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Serves: 12
Ingredients
Pastry:
  • 180 g Flour
  • 110 g Salted Butter
  • 45 g Icing Sugar
  • 1 Tbsp Ice Cold water
Lemon Filling:
  • 82 g (5) Large Egg Yolks, room temperature (reserve the whites)
  • 240 g White Sugar
  • ½ tsp Salt
  • 70 g Corn Starch
  • 390 ml Boiling Water
  • 35 g Unsalted Butter
  • 160 ml freshly squeezed lemon juice, strained to remove seeds and pulp
  • 2 Tbsp Lemon Zest
Italian Meringue:
  • 250 g White Sugar
  • 80 g Boiling Water
  • 4 egg whites
  • Pinch of Salt
  • ¼ tsp Cream of Tartar
  • 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
Instructions
Pastry:
  1. Place flour in a food processor. Add the diced butter and jiggle it around a bit so that all the butter is covered in flour and not sticking together.
  2. Process the flour and butter together on medium speed until resembling bread crumbs.
  3. Add the icing sugar and process for another 15 seconds.
  4. Add the ice cold water and turn the processor on for another 15 seconds or until the mixture starts clumping in the machine. Do not keep processing until all the dough comes together! It is a firm dough, so it is not as wet.
  5. Dump all the contents (there will be many dry crumbs, don’t panic) onto a work surface and knead the dough until smooth – about 2 minutes. Do not add more water.
  6. Flatten your pastry out slightly until it is about ½ inch thick. Wrap it tightly in plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator for 10 minutes.
  7. In the meantime prepare your tin. I use a 9 inch loose bottom cake tin. Spray or lightly butter the inside of your tin, making sure to only grease about 2 inches up the sides if you are using a deeper cake tin.
  8. Remove pastry from the fridge and roll out on a large piece of baking parchment to about 3 mm thick. Rotate the parchment every few seconds so that your pastry is rolled out more or less into a circle.
  9. Place the base of your tin face side down on top of the pastry and cut around the sides of it. Trim off the excess pastry around the base and keep to one side. Place one hand under the parchment paper and one side on top of the base. Flip the pastry in one swift motion.
  10. Fit the pastry covered base back into the tin and fill in the sides with pastry using your thumbs. If you are using a cake tin, only take the pastry about 3,5 cm up the sides.
  11. Freeze the pastry for 5 minutes. Remove from freezer and smooth the surface and edges with a spoon if desired. Return to the freezer for an extra 15 minutes.
  12. Preheat your oven to 180˚C (350˚F). Blind bake the pastry for 20 minutes using foil. Remove the baking beans and foil. Brush the inside of the pastry with beaten egg white and prick holes in the base with a fork.
  13. Return the pastry to the oven until lightly golden brown.
  14. Leave to cool inside the tin.
Lemon Filling:
  1. Place a damp washcloth on your work surface to keep things from sliding around. Add all the egg yolks to a medium mixing bowl and place on top of washcloth.
  2. Place the white sugar and corn starch in a medium sized pot and stir to combine. Gradually pour in the boiling water while whisking with your other hand.
  3. Transfer pot to a medium heat. Keep stirring with a whisk. The mixture takes a while to heat up, but then it thickens very quickly. Let the mixture come to a low boil. Large steam bubbles will begin to form and the mixture will start to become translucent. Keep the mixture on a low boil for another 2 minutes, whisking all the while.
  4. Remove the pot from the heat. Next you need to temper the egg yolks. Dip the whisk into the translucent goo and then whisk it into the egg yolks. Tap your whisk on the side of the mixing bowl to shake off any egg yolk. Dip it into the goo again and whisk into the yolks. Keep going until about half the goo is mixed into the yolks.
  5. Transfer the tempered egg yolk mixture back into the pot with the rest of the goo and whisk thoroughly.
  6. Return the pot to a medium heat once more and bring to a low boil while whisking – same as before. You need to be sure the egg yolks are cooked through, so keep the mixture on a low boil for another 2 minutes, whisking all the while.
  7. Remove the pot from heat. Add the butter, lemon zest, and lemon juice to the pot all at once and whisk to combine.
  8. Transfer the lemon filling to a clean mixing bowl. Immediately place plastic wrap directly onto the surface of the filling to prevent a skin from forming. Start with the meringue immediately after you made the filling. Remember, we want the filling to still be warm when we place the meringue on top.
Italian Meringue:
  1. Place boiling water and sugar into a small, heavy based saucepan and swirl to combine.
  2. Bring mixture to a simmer on medium heat. Swirl the saucepan now and then to distribute sugar granules that gather in the center. DO NOT STIR.
  3. In the meantime, place the egg whites, salt and cream of tartar in a super clean mixing bowl of a standing mixture. Add the whisk attachment to your mixer. Do not beat together just yet.
  4. Once all the sugar is dissolved, turn the heat up high and insert a candy thermometer in the syrup.
  5. When sugar syrup reaches 100˚C (212˚F), start whipping the egg whites on medium speed till soft peak stage.
  6. When syrup reaches 118˚C (245˚F), remove from heat. Increase mixer speed to high and pour syrup in gradually, in a thin stream, into the egg whites.
  7. Reduce speed to medium and continue beating till the bowl is cool and the meringue is stiff.
  8. Keep mixer running and add in the Vanilla Extract.
  9. Assembly of Lemon Meringue Pie:
  10. Lift out the base of your tin and transfer to your desired serving plate. The pastry can be loosened and transferred easily without any breakage.
  11. Remove the plastic wrap from your lemon filling. Transfer all the filling into your pre-baked pastry and smooth out the surface.
  12. Working from the outside in, dollop a dessert spoonful of meringue at a time on top of the lemon filling. Be sure to cover the top all the way to the edges.
  13. Using the tip of your spoon to dig into the meringue slightly and swirl outward and upward to create beautiful peaks. Do not use the back of your spoon.
  14. Brown the meringue to your liking with a blowtorch.
  15. Leave the completed Lemon Meringue Pie to stand at room temperature for at least 2 hours before slicing and serving.

 

I hope you give this epic Lemon Meringue Pie a try! If you have any questions or issues, please comment below because I would love to help.

Thanks for reading!

Aurelia 🙂

Got a question? Something to add? Let’s chat in the comments section down below! (I respond to every single comment)