Oh, say can you see (that slightly-floral, fruit-topped delight)?!
This is the perfect 4th of July dessert friends. It might be missing red, but this chilled blue and white masterpiece will have you praising your plate instead of the fireworks. You'll pretty much have fireworks in your mouth. Who doesn't want that?!
Blueberry cheesecake will forever remind of my dad and his birthday. While my mom despises these little berries, my dad can't get enough of them so there was always only one time a year where we'd break out the blueberry cheesecake.
My dad's mom always had a delicious variation on cheesecake that she'd bring to all family gatherings that involved frozen cream cheese frosting, cool whip, and a store bought crust. It's not what most people think of as cheesecake but it's insanely easy and crazy tasty. When I am looking for a fast and easy recipe, her's is the one I turn too but when I've got a little more time nothing beats a traditional cheesecake. It's that perfect balance of rich cream, slightly sweet topping, and a buttery graham cracker crust.
For this recipe I turned to my personal idol, Mrs. Ina Garten and made some slight variations to accommodate my vision of lavender infused cream cheese... Enjoy!
Lavender Blueberry Cheesecake
(modeled after: Ina's Raspbberry Cheesecake)
1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs (10 crackers)
2 tablespoons sugar
6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, melted
Preheat the oven to 350°
In a food processor, crush the graham crackers until fine crumbs form. Add in sugar and melted butter until moistened. Pour crust mixture into a 8-inch springform pan. With the back of a measuring cup or your fingers, press the crumbs into the bottom of the pan until smooth. I like to line the bottom of my Springform pan with parchment paper for easy removal but that is up to you. You can also serve this cake on the bottom of the Springform. Bake for 8 minutes and then cool to room temperature.
4 packages 8 oz cream cheese, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups sugar
5 whole eggs
2 egg yolks
1/3 cup sour cream
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon lavender extract
1/2 teaspoon dried culinary lavender, finely chopped
Preheat oven to 450°
In a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese and sugar until light and fluffy. This should take four to five minutes. Four if you are impatient like I am. Turn off the mixer and add the eggs and egg yolks, 2 at a time, and mixing on medium speed between rounds. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl as necessary. Lastly, add in the sour cream, lemon juice, vanilla, lavender extract and culinary lavender until smooth and creamy. Pour into chilled crust in the Springform pan.
Bake the cheesecake for 15 minutes at 450° and then turn the oven down to 225° and bake for another 1 hour 15.
For the last steps follow Ina exactly: "Turn the oven off and open the door wide. The cake will not be completely set in the center. Allow the cake to sit in the oven with the door open for 30 minutes. Take the cake out of the oven and allow it to sit at room temperature for another 2 to 3 hours, until completely cooled. Wrap and refrigerate overnight."
2/3 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup water
1 1/2 pints fresh blueberries
1/4 teaspoon vanilla
1/3 cup water mixed with 2 tablespoons cornstarch
Combine the sugar, water, and blueberries in a medium sized saucepan and bring to a simmer. Once lightly boiling add in your cornstarch infused water and continue to boil mixture for about five minutes or until think. Gently stir in vanilla with a wooded spoon. Turn off stove and let blueberry topping cool for half an hour before putting in an airtight container to chill in the refrigerator. Refrigerate for 4 hours or until cool and thick.
Finally you are done with all the steps! Gently remove the cheesecake from the springform pan by running a knife warmed under hot water along the sides of the cake. Best served on bottom of Springform pan or smooth cake platter. Enjoy with friends and fireworks.