I didn’t think I would have this Blueberry Lavender Cheesecake Bars recipe posted for a while, but I guess sometimes the culinary gods can occasionally smile down upon you. Because this conception I had in my head actually came together elegantly the first time I made it. My family and I went blueberry picking last month, and our successful trip resulted in a bounty of loads and loads of blueberries. I was so excited to get home and start developing some fun recipes for one of my favorite fruits!
It’s fairly safe to say that I have an infatuation with lavender. Years ago I started visiting a lavender farm on the North Fork of Long Island whenever on my way to Southampton, and I have been captivated by the scent and utilizing the sweet, floral notes of lavender in my cooking ever since. So, there is always culinary lavender in my pantry, and I often incorporate it into savory and sweet dishes as well as cocktails.
OTHER RECIPES WITH LAVENDER:
ORANGE SCONES WITH LAVENDER GLAZE
You can also see posts of some visits to the lavender farm HERE and HERE.
Blueberry and lavender is one of my absolute favorite flavor combinations, and the marriage of the flavors in desserts is truly magical. Let’s break down why this blueberry lavender cheesecake dessert is so good.
-The crust is texturally perfect, sweet with just the slightest hint of ginger (not too much but just enough to make the base truly special).
-The cheesecake portion is SO CREAMY. I used my grandmother’s cheesecake recipe as the foundation, adding an extra yolk for extra creaminess and adding the lavender directly into the cake itself by infusing it in melted butter. It results in just a subtle floral note of lavender within perfectly sweetened cheesecake without being overpowering.
-The perfect amount of tartness from the fresh blueberries round the whole thing out. The textures and flavors of the dessert as a whole balance just beautifully.
This dessert is very simple to make. Although I’m proud that my baking skills are improving, I am definitely not a baker. If I can make this treat, I promise you can too.
WHAT YOU’LL NEED:
– Hand mixer or Stand mixer
It’s best if you allow the cheesecake to chill for at least six hours prior to serving (even better if it’s 24 hours); so if you’re entertaining try to make it the night before.
- Butter flavored cooking spray
- 10 graham crackers
- ¼ cup sugar
- ⅛ tsp ground ginger
- 5 TBSP unsalted butter, melted
- ¼ cup unsalted butter
- 1 TBSP culinary lavender
- 16 oz cream cheese, room temperature
- 4 oz sour cream, room temperature
- ½ cup sugar
- ½ tsp vanilla extract
- 1 TBSP lemon juice
- 2 whole eggs + 1 egg yolk, room temperature
- 2 cups fresh blueberries
- ½ cup blueberry jelly or preserves, if desired
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
- Line 9 x 9 baking pan with parchment pressing in all the corners so it fits neatly within pan.
- Spray lined pan with butter spray
- Pulse dry ingredients into food processor until crumb-like consistency. Then add melted butter which has been allowed to cool.
- Pat mixture down into baking pan so it's even and pressed into all edges and corners.
- Bake for 10 minutes then allow to cool completely at room temperature
- Melt butter over medium heat in small saucepan then add lavender and turn off the heat. Allow lavender to infuse into butter for 30 minutes then strain flavored butter to remove the dried lavender making sure to press the lavender into the sieve with a wooden spoon to make sure you're extracting all its lavender goodness.
- Cool oven to 325 degrees F
- Beat cream cheese, lavender butter and sour cream with hand or stand mixer until combined.
- Add sugar, vanilla and lemon juice and continue to beat until smooth
- Beat in the eggs and egg yolk one at a time and beat until smooth.
- Pour mixture into cooled crust then cover with fresh blueberries (some blueberries will slightly sink into the mixture which is great!)
- Bake 35-40 minutes or until center only slightly jiggles.
- Cool completely at room temperature then refrigerate at least 6 hours (but overnight is best).
- Slice into 9 equal amazingly delicious bars.
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