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Unsalted butter or unrefined virgin coconut oil for greasing muffin tin
7 2-inch wide strips unbleached parchment paper, cut in half crosswise
For the crust:
12 graham crackers or 2 cups gluten-free graham cracker crumbs
5 Tablespoons unsalted butter or unrefined virgin coconut oil, melted
2 ½ Tablespoons pure maple syrup, Grade A or Grade B
Pinch sea salt
For the Filling:
1 1/3 cups unsweetened whole milk Greek yogurt or firm tofu
6 ounces cream cheese or almond milk cream cheese, at room temperature
2/3 cup pure Grade A maple syrup
2 large eggs
2 ½ Tablespoons arrowroot powder
2 ½ Tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 teaspoon of lemon zest
¾ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Pinch of sea salt
Optional accompaniments: fresh berries or berry compote
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease a standard muffin tin with coconut oil or butter and line each with a strip of parchment paper, leaving a tab on either end for easy removal.
2. In the bowl of a food processor, pulse the graham crackers until they are finely ground. Add the melted butter, maple syrup and pinch of salt to the graham crackers and pulse until moist crumbs form and the mixture is well combined.
3. Scoop about 2 Tablespoons of crumbs into each muffin cup and press firmly to form an even layer at the base (NOT up the sides), using the back of the Tablespoon if desired. Repeat with the remaining crumbs and muffins cups. Wipe out the food processor.
4. Bake the crust for 4-5 minutes, until the edges are lightly golden. Crusts can be made a day ahead. Lower the oven to 325 degrees.
5. To make the filling, combine yogurt, cream cheese and maple syrup in the bowl of the food processor and process until smooth, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the eggs, arrowroot, lemon juice, lemon zest, vanilla and salt and continue to process until batter is smooth and combined, about a minute more.
6. Scoop 1/3 cup of the cheesecake filling onto each cooled crust. Bake until the custard is lightly golden and set at the edges but still slightly jiggly in the center, 20-25 minutes.
7. Allow to cool to room temperature and refrigerate until chilled. Run a thin knife around the edge and pull up on both ends of the parchment to remove. Serve plain or with fresh berries or a berry sauce.
Tip: These can be made several days ahead and kept refrigerated in the muffin tins and covered with plastic wrap.