⅔ cup California Giant Blueberries, additional for garnishing
1 tablespoon water
7 tablespoons sugar, divided
1 teaspoon crushed dried basil leaves
3 eggs, at room temperature
1 can sweetened condensed milk
½ cup fresh squeezed lemon juice from
¼ teaspoon cream of tartar
fresh basil leaves for garnishing
Heat oven to 400°F.
Place crushed cookies and melted butter in a bowl and stir well with a fork until crumbs are evenly coated. Divide crumbs evenly between 8 six ounce ramekins (about 3 tablespoons in each). Press the crumbs into the bottom and up the sides of the ramekins. Place on a baking sheet and set aside.
Place the blueberries, water, 3 tablespoons of sugar, and dried basil in a saucepan. Cook and stir over medium-high heat while it bubbles and the blueberries begin to burst. Continue cooking and stirring until the mixture thickens, about 6-8 minutes. Remove from the heat; it will continue to thicken as it cools.
Separate the eggs and put the yolks into a medium size bowl and the whites into a small glass or metal bowl.
Use an electric mixer to beat the yolks until pale and creamy, and then add the sweetened condensed milk and continue beating until combined. Gradually add in the ½ cup lemon juice and continue beating until thoroughly combined and slightly thickened, about 3 minutes.
Spread 1 teaspoon of the blueberry mixture evenly onto the bottom of each individual cookie crust. Spread ¼ cup of the lemon mixture evenly on top of the blueberry in each ramekin. Place the pan with all of the mini pies in the 400°F oven and bake for 12-15 minutes or until the pies are almost set.
While the pies are baking, beat egg whites and cream of tarter with clean beaters until foamy. Gradually add 4 tablespoons of sugar and continue beating until the egg whites are stiff. Place the meringue in a piping bag with a large decorative tip. Pipe a dollop of the meringue over the warm mini pie filling. Return pies to the oven and continue baking until the meringue browns, about 5-7 minutes. Cool on the counter top, and then chill in the refrigerator, if desired. Garnish with blueberries and fresh basil leaves.