This is really simple and tastes amazing.
Prep time: 20 minutes, plus chilling time ¦ Cooking time: 10 minutes
For the base
- 380g plain digestive biscuits
- 110g unsalted butter, melted
- zest of 2 lemons
For the filling
- 420g cream cheese
- 90g caster sugar
- zest and juice of 2 lemons
- 1 tsp lemon essence
- 90ml double cream
- 280g lemon curd
For the Italian meringue topping
- 3 egg whites
- 1½ tsp cream of tartar
- 150g caster sugar
- zest of 1 lemon
- Whizz the digestive biscuits into fine crumbs in a food processor (stick them in a sandwich bag and bash with a rolling pin if you haven’t got a processor). Add the melted butter and give the mixture a good stir to make sure that all the biscuit is nicely coated, then mix in the zest.
- Pour into a 20cm, deep springform cake tin, press down gently in the middle to make your base, and push the biscuit up the sides to make a wall around the edge of the tin. Level off the edge with the back of a spoon and place in the freezer for 15 minutes to firm up.
- Beat the cream cheese and sugar together. Add the lemon zest, juice and essence, and mix thoroughly. Whip the cream until you have stiff peaks, then fold it gently into the mix. Set aside while you make the meringue.
- Whisk the egg whites and cream of tartar in a mixer until nearly at the stiff-peak stage, then switch off the mixer.
- In a saucepan, heat the sugar and 75ml water over a low heat until the sugar has dissolved, then turn up the heat slightly and simmer until the syrup reaches 118C. Remove from the heat, turn the mixer back on to full power, and slowly add the syrup. Whisk until the meringue is firm, silky and shiny. Set aside while you assemble the cake.
- Remove the base from the freezer and spoon in the lemon curd, spreading it out evenly. Next, spoon on the cheese mixture and level off with a palette knife.
- For the topping, spoon the meringue over the cake, then use a spoon to swirl it. Using a domestic blowtorch, torch the peaks until golden brown. Finish with a zesting of lemon.
Recipe from Pleesecakes by Joe Moruzzi and Brendon Parry (Quadrille, £15). To order your copy for £12.99 plus p&p, call 0844-871 1514 or visit books.telegraph.co.uk