Peju's Meyer Lemon Cheesecake with Citrus Meringue

This Meyer Lemon Cheesecake is topped with crystallized Meyer lemon peel in Peju Liana Muscat syrup


Servings: 8

Cook Time: 2 hours prep, 6 hours chilling

Source: Courtesy of Peju


8 ounces graham crackers

4 ounces unsalted butter

16 ounces cream cheese, room temperature

4 eggs

granulated sugar, sifted

1 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 teaspoon Peju Liana Muscat + 1/2 cup, in two parts

¼ teaspoon Meyer lemon juice

1 tablespoon Meyer lemon zest

¼ cup heavy whipping cream
2 large egg whites, at room temperature

pinch of salt

1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest

¼ teaspoon vanilla extract

3 whole lemons


Preheat oven to 350° F.

Grind the graham crackers in a food processor. Remove and place in a medium-sized bowl. In a small sauté pot, melt the butter at a low heat. Mix the ground graham crackers with the butter and place on the base of a 12” removable bottom baking pan. Bake crust for 5 minutes.

To make the filling: 
Combine cream cheese, eggs, 1 cup sugar, vanilla, 1 teaspoon Peju Liana Muscat, ¼ teaspoon Meyer lemon juice, 1 tablespoon Meyer lemon zest, and cream in a stand mixer and beat until batter is soft and fluffy. 

Pour cheesecake batter over the graham crust and bake for about 60 minutes. Remove to a rack and let cool for approximately 6 hours before cutting.

To make the Citrus Meringues:
Preheat oven to 250° F. Cover two baking sheets with parchment paper or foil.

Beat egg whites with salt until soft peaks form. Add 2/3 cups sugar, very slowly, beating well between additions, until egg whites are stiff but not dry. Fold in lemon zest and vanilla.

Drop by teaspoonfuls onto the baking sheets or pipe small kisses with a pastry bag, fitted with a ½-inch star tip.  Bake until dry but not brown, 40-45 minutes. Cool 2-3 minutes before removing from the baking sheets. These tiny, lemon-flavored meringues must be cooked slowly for the outsides are powdery and crisp, and the insides are chewy. To store extra meringues, place in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks.

To make the Crystallized Lemon Peel:
Cut lemons into slices about ¼-inch thick and remove the fruit and pulp. Cut the rings in half so the peels are in long strips. Bring water and lemon peel to a boil in a small pan. Drain water, and repeat with fresh cold water. Repeat the boiling step three times. Drain and set peels aside.

Combine 2 cups fresh water with 2 cups sugar. Bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Reduce heat to low and stir in citrus peels and Peju Liana Muscat; simmer until translucent. Store peels in syrup, refrigerated, to keep them soft, or drain and allow them to dry on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper. Toss dry candied peels in additional sugar and store airtight at room temperature.

To serve, on individual serving plates, cut a wedge of cheesecake and place a citrus meringue next to it, topped with a crystallized lemon peel. It makes your mouth water just thinking about it!

Recipe Courtesy Of


Peju’s Rutherford estate has been home to Ariana and Lisa Peju since they were children. It was their parents who, in 1983, founded the winery. Today, Peju is still a family-owned and -operated winery with daughters Lisa and Ariana at the helm.