Thursday, April 14, 2016

Violet's Lemon Cheesecake and Lemon Meringue Pie

unrelated photo from a spring walk in the woods yesterday :)

I'm not a huge fan of rich cheesecake, and I haven't made one for many years. The trouble is you think you'd like a slice of cheesecake, but if you make one you have to eat the whole thing. My mom used to make a wonderful cheesecake that was very light. My family never had "real" cheesecake (only this one), and we all thought this cheesecake was what they were supposed to be like. I remember distinctly having a slice of cherry cheesecake when I was at a party of a family friend, and it almost made me ill because it was so rich. I couldn't face any cheesecakes for a long time after that. Mom's recipe is a very light, and it isn't bake, so not a true cheesecake. The lemons and cottage cheese make it! I've renamed these desserts in honour of my mom who loved to bake them for her family.

Violet's Lemon Cheesecake

Crust *see note at bottom of this recipe

1/4 cup butter
1 1/4 cups Graham cracker crumbs
2 tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon

Melt butter in saucepan. Mix in crumbs, sugar and cinnamon. Pack into bottom and sides of ungreased 9-inch springform pan. Chill briefly before adding filling.


2 tbsp plain gelatin
1/4 cup cold water
2 egg yolks
1 cup sugar
1 cup heavy cream (whipping cream)
2 lemons (juice & rind of each)
2 egg whites, beaten stiff
1 tsp salt (or less)
1/2 cup milk
1 lb. cottage cheese (Mom used the large curd cottage cheese, but the recipe calls for cream-style cottage cheese) 
2 tsp vanilla

Soften gelatin in cold water. Beat egg yolks in double boiler together with salt, milk and sugar. Cook until mixture begins to thicken, stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Add to hot mixture lemon rind and gelatin. Stir until all is dissolved. Beat in cottage cheese, lemon juice, vanilla, egg whites and whipped cream. Pour cheese mixture on top of crumb shell. Let chill overnight. 
*Note:  There were no ingredients listed for the crumb base, so I have copied ingredients from another cheesecake recipe. I just guessed on the amount of cinnamon, so be warned.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 

My dad used to claim that Lemon Meringue Pie is the reason he came to live in Canada. I don't doubt it! He was very food motivated (and still is) ;)  Apparently Lemon Meringue Pie is a Canadian invention (as are Butter Tarts!).*see update below You can dispute me if you like, but that's what I've heard. I'm sticking with this claim because it ties in perfectly with my dad uprooting himself from the UK and travelling across the seas in a ship to live here in Canada for 60 years! The pie made him do it. Mom made this pie all the time ... for Dad. I think he loved the pie more than he loved Mom, but maybe that's going too far. He no longer remembers his wife, but he does remember pie :[  ha ha!

*update: I thought I'd better do a little research on my claim ... it seems a chef in Philadelphia, Elizabeth Coane Goodfellow, has been credited for a similar lemon pudding/pie way back in the early 1800s. Some claim she did invent lemon meringue pie, while others say she created a prototype to it.

Violet's Lemon Meringue Pie

Pie Filling

1 1/4 cups sugar
1/8 tsp salt
6 tbsp cornstarch
2  cups boiling water
grated rind of 1 lemon
1/4 cup butter (Mom told me she didn't add butter to hers)
3 egg yolks
1/2 cup lemon juice

Meringue Topping

3 egg whites
1/8 tsp salt
1 tsp lemon juice
6 tbsp sugar

Baked 9-inch pastry shell

In medium saucepan, mix sugar, salt and cornstarch. Add water and lemon rind. Cook until thickened, stirring constantly; simmer 10 minutes. Add butter, but do not stir. Mix egg yolks with lemon juice; gradually whisk into hot mixture. Pour into pastry shell and bake in 400'F oven for 10 minutes.

Beat egg whites till stiff peaks form. Add remaining ingredients. Pile meringue on top of baked filling, spreading to edges. Reduce heat to 350'F and bake for 18 minutes until lightly browned on top.


I'm joining up with JemmaLauraStacey and Laura for ...

Thanks for hosting ladies!

Thanks for stopping by folks,



  1. Hello, both the cheesecake and the pie sounds delicious. It is nice to name the cheesecake after your Mom. Thanks for sharing the recipes. Happy Thursday, enjoy your day!

  2. Both those recipes sound lovely. I never knew lemon meringue pie came from Canada but I'm happy to believe you x

  3. Just the thought of this is amazing! With cottage cheese and egg whites it has to be lighter and better for you. I've never met a cheesecake I didn't love but I'm definitely not opposed to lightening things up. Pinning and making soon.

    Thank you for sharing this at Thoughts of Home on Thursday. :)

    1. Oh shoot, no Pinning. Did you realize that your blog doesn't allow Pinning?

  4. Hi Wendy! Both of these look delicious, and I have been wanting a lemon pie for awhile now. My husband doesn't care for lemon meringue pie so I have to eat it all alone.
    I remember an Aunt of mine making this really light cheese cake made with cottage cheese when I was very young, maybe this is the same recipe? She passed away many years ago so I can't ask her.
    I printed these off and will definitely make the cheese cake.

    Have a wonderful rest of your day~~

  5. Both sound lovely! I can't remember the last time I had lemon meringue pie, and it's always been one of my favorites.

  6. My mother makes an unbaked cheesecake that is very light, too - basically just cream cheese whipped with sugar and whipped cream folded in (if I remember correctly). The first time I tasted baked cheesecake, I, too, was underwhelmed with its richness and heaviness. I'll eat the thinnest slice, but no more.
    I didn't know that lemon meringue pie might be a Canadian invention! Fun!

  7. Hi, thank you so much for visiting me today, I came right back to visit!! A fellow Canadian and Ontario too!! These both sound so good, we have the no bake cheese cake at least once a year but we have lemon pie much more often,,
    I have joined to follow your blog and will enjoy coming to visit,,

  8. Cheesecake was one of my favourite desserts when I was a kid. Have you tried Uncle Tetsu's Japanese Cheesecake? There's always a queue at the bake shop located in downtown Toronto. The cheesecake is super soft and fluffy!

    I never knew that the Lemon Meringue Pie had Canadian origins.

  9. Wendy, I'm going to try your cheesecake recipe, it sounds delicious. Thank you for posting it!

  10. They both sound delightful, I prefer a lighter cheesecake too. Loved the little family history snippets behind your recipes xx

  11. Lovely recipes. Lemon Meringue pie has been popular in Australia since forever, and I remember making it at school cooking lessons. My mother had a 'light' cheesecake recipe too, and it was all I knew for a long time. The first time I tried a baked New York cheesecake I had a very similar reaction to you :)

  12. looks yummy ,my kids love cake and we especially enjoy simple one with evening tea,never tried cheese cake but after reading you looks i have to give try to it too

  13. I'm a big fan of anything lemony so these recipes would go down a treat here, they both sound delicious.

  14. I admit I love anything cheesecake, thick and creamy or light and fluffy. I am the person you want to invite that will want a big piece. lol

    Your recipes sounds great!

  15. The recipes your Mom used sound wonderful Wendy! Maybe all new brides should be given these and the divorce rate would drop. I'm pinning these to my recipe board. My husband does make a killer lemon meringue pie.

    1. Oops - sorry, didn't realize there was no pinning here.

  16. Both of the desserts sound heavenly! How cute that your dad moved from the UK to Canada for the lemon meringue pie.
    Thank you for your visit to my blog!

  17. Good Morning Wendy!
    Oh you know how I love, love the rich history you treat us too and especially when it involves your dear parents!
    Your Dad moved from his homeland to claim a piece of lemon meringue pie-I tell you, there is a book inside of you.
    Both of these recipe sound amazing! I know they are too. My Mom used to make a lemon pie too, no meringue as she always topped hers with whipped cream.
    Just like you, I am not a huge fan of rich cheescake either, so I can imagine that cottage cheese would take away some of the density.
    I love both of these recipes, Wendy and I am so happy you shared them with us a TOTHOT.
    All of us ladies are thrilled to see you here!
    Happy Weekend dear Wendy!

  18. Oh my, Wendy! I don’t get cheesecake for the very exact reasons you mentioned here. I am going to try your cheesecake recipe, I know I will love it. I didn’t know that lemon meringue pie came from Canada. The story of your dad uprooting himself to settle down elsewhere for pie made me laugh out loud. Good thing your mom made the pie for him all the time :)


  19. My dear Wendy, what delightful recipes! While I have had lemon meringue pie, I have not had lemon cheesecake and it sounds heavenly! I must try it soon :)

    Thank you for the tasty recipes. I hope your week is off to a wonderful start. Hugs to you!

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