Lavender Honey Cheesecake

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“This is melt in your mouth good” – Amy B. after taking a first bite.

That’s one of several positive reviews when I served this at a graduation party. It’s rich, it’s seasonal, it’s delicious if you like cheesecake. Plus, using vanilla wafers instead of graham crackers for a crust is also a fantastic compliment to the overall flavor.

I’ve used lavender before and have come to really enjoy experimenting with this unusual spice. This recipe is definitely worth a try, just make sure you make it at least a day or two ahead.

lavender honey cheesecake
lavender honey cheesecake

Ingredients
Recipe courtesy of The Washington Post
the crust

    1 cup vanilla wafer crumbs
    2 T. sugar
    3 T. unsalted butter, melted

the filling

    1/2 cup vanilla wafers, crumbled
    3 T. plus 2/3 cup good-quality honey
    2 pounds (32 oz.) cream cheese, at room temperature (do not use low-fat or nonfat)
    4 large eggs, at room temperature
    1 tsp. vanilla extract

the topping

    1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries, stemmed and washed
    1/4 cup water
    2 T. sugar
    2 T. dried (culinary) lavender
    8 oz. cream cheese, at room temperature (do not use low-fat or nonfat)
    1/2 cup Greek-style yogurt

Directions
Preheat oven to 350. Boil kettle of water for waterbath. Wrap 9-inch springform pan tightly with aluminum foil to make sure it is waterproof.
the crust

    1. Combine the wafer crumbs, sugar and melted butter in a medium bowl, then press into the bottom and 1 inch up the sides of the springform pan.

the filling

    2. Combine the crumbled wafers and 3 tablespoons of the honey in a small bowl.
    3. Beat the cream cheese in the bowl of a stand mixer or hand-held electric mixer on medium speed for several minutes, until it is smooth and creamy.
    4. Add the remaining 2/3 cup of honey; the eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition; and the vanilla extract.
    5. Fold the wafer-honey mixture into the batter. Pour the filling into the prepared pan and place it in a larger roasting or lasagna pan.
    6. Pour the boiled water to fill the pan so the water level comes about one-third to halfway up the sides of the springform pan. Bake for 1 hour, until the filling is set but still slightly wobbly in the center.

the topping

    7. While the cake is baking prepare the topping.
    8. Combine the blueberries, water and sugar in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Cook, stirring, for about 5 minutes, until the berries are very soft.
    9. Add the lavender and remove from the heat. Let the mixture steep for 15 minutes, then transfer to a blender and puree.
    10. Strain through a fine-mesh strainer, pressing on the solids to extract as much liquid as possible. There should be about 1/4 cup of lavender syrup; discard the solids.
    11. Beat the cream cheese in the bowl of a stand mixer or hand-held electric mixer on medium speed for several minutes, until it is smooth and creamy. Reduce the speed to low, then add the yogurt and the lavender syrup. If needed, use a spatula to make sure the mixture is blended together completely.

final assembly

    12. Remove the springform pan from the water bath and place on a wire rack (don’t release springform pan); let it rest for 5 minutes.
    13. Spread the topping evenly over the cheesecake. Cool completely, then cover and refrigerate overnight — still in the springform pan.
    14. When ready to serve, remove the cheesecake from the springform pan and place the cake on a platter.

Voila!

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