Baking Day with Evie Pt 1

Evie is a lovely friend of mine who also really enjoys baking and we were planning our baking day for a while. As quite often happens though, life kept getting in the way. Every time we planned to have it, something else would come up or one of us wouldn't be free etc. So, after about 2 months, we finally got our day! :) We actually had a huge list of things, most of them more americanised, that we wanted to make, but you only get so long in a day! This is the first of the three recipes and it turned out pretty much perfectly! We were really happy with the finished product, even if we did both end up setting the paper cases on fire! :O These are great for a neat presentation and a perfect sized dessert. Also, we halved the recipe, so this quantity makes 12.

Lemon Meringue Cheesecake Cupcakes

3/4 cup graham cracker crumbs (or digestive biscuits)
3/4T sugar
1/8 cup unsalted butter, melted
250g cream cheese, room temperature
1/3 cup & 1T sugar
2T cornstarch
1T finely grated lemon zest
2T fresh lemon juice
2t vanilla extract
2 eggs, room temperature
2 eggs
1/4 cup sugar with 1T taken out
Preheat oven to 180°C and line a 12 cup muffin tin with cupcake liners. To make crust, combine the first 3 ingredients until evenly blended and crumbly and press into bottom of mini muffins cups. Bake for 8 minutes, then cool. Spoon or pipe cheesecake filling into cooled mini muffin tins bake for about 18 minutes, until cheesecake still moves a little when pan is shaken gently. Let cheesecakes cool to room temperature. Meringue layer can be made once cheesecake have cooled and cheesecakes can be chilled overnight (or at least an hour) and then finished. To finish, fill a piping bag with a large star or plain tip and pipe on top of each cheesecake. Evie and I used a cupcake pen with a very wide tip to pipe the meringue and that worked really well. Bake pie for about 6 minutes, just until meringue browns lightly. Alternately, use the blowtorch to brown the meringue, turning whilst cooking the meringue. Allow cheesecakes to chill for at least an hour and up to a day before serving.
Cheesecake Filling:
To make cheesecake, reduce oven to 160°C. Beat cream cheese until smooth and fluffy, then gradually add sugar while beating, scraping the sides of the bowl often. Beat in cornstarch, lemon zest, lemon juice and vanilla. Add eggs one at a time, scraping well after each addition. 
Meringue Top:
For meringue, preheat oven to 190°C, or ready your blowtorch! Whip egg whites until foamy. While whipping, gradually pour in sugar and whip on one speed less than highest until whites hold a stiff peak (the meringue stands upright when whisk is lifted).

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