Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Lavender Blackberry Cheesecake

How many ways are there to bake with lavender?  Lots.  Here is another recipe where I used my handpicked lavender!  I combined a few different recipes to make something with what I had in the fridge.  I also went for our smaller cheesecake pan (the 7 inch) which is a much better size for just four people.  The result- new favorite cheesecake.  Make one, do it.

I went a graham cracker crust, a lavender cheesecake, and a lavender-blackberry sour cream topping.  It's a couple different steps, and you do have to put it back in the oven after adding each element, so it does take a bit of time to make the finished product.  But it's worth it.

Graham Cracker Crust
from The Joy of Cheesecake
Makes enough for a 9-in pan
(if you are making a 7-in pan like I did, you will have leftovers- that's ok)

1 1/2 cup graham cracker crumbs
6 tbsp melted butter
1/4 cup sugar

Preheat oven to 350°.

Combine all ingredients, mix well.  Press the crumb mixture evenly along the bottom of a pre-greased springform pan, and about 1'' up each side.  Bake for 5-10 minutes.  Let cool before adding filling.

Lavender Cheesecake
Recipe adapted from Mt. Shasta Lavender Farms for 7-inch pan

4 ounces heavy cream
2 tsp dried lavender buds
14 ounces cream cheese
2.5 ounces sugar
2 eggs

Preheat oven to 350°.

Combine lavender and heavy cream in a small saucepan.  Bring to a boil over medium heat.  Immediately remove from heat and let rest for 10 minutes.  Strain cream and discard lavender.

Beat cream cheese with an electric mixer until very smooth- approximately 3 minutes.  Add lavender-infused heavy cream and continue to mix for an additional 3 minutes on medium-high, or until smooth. Whisk eggs and sugar in a separate bowl.  Add to cream mixture and gently beat until smooth.

Pour into pre-baked crust in springform pan and bake for 40-50 minutes or until set.  It is best to also place a large pan filled with water 1 rack below the cheesecake to allow for humidity in the oven during baking.  This reduces the chance of your cheesecake developing cracks.

Blackberry Lavender Topping
Adapted from The Joy of Cheesecake
makes enough for 1 7-inch cheesecake

1/2 cup sour cream
1 tbsp lavender sugar (or just use regular sugar and add a few lavender buds)
1 tsp vanilla extract
3-4 blackberries

Preheat oven to 450°.

Muddle blackberries, set aside.  Combine sour cream, sugar, and vanilla.  Whisk until smooth.  Add blackberries, a bit at a time, until desired color and flavor are reached.

Bake for 5-7 minutes or until set.

When your cheesecake is done you should allow it to slowly cool in order to prevent cracks.  I left mine in the turned-off oven with the door propped open until the oven reached room temperature.  When the cheesecake is cooled to room temperature you should put it in the fridge- still in the pan though.  You can take it out of the pan after a few hours in the fridge, just run a sharp knife around the edge of the pan first.  And there you have it- a lovely lavender cheesecake!

Bon Appetit

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