Lavender Cheesecake Squares

Ingredients

Crust

  • 14 graham crackers (about 5 oz.)
  • 1/2 tsp lavender
  • 3 oz. (6 Tbs.) unsalted butter, melted

Filling

  • 2.5 tsp lavender
  • 6 ounces of heavy cream
  • 1 1/2 lb. cream cheese at room temperature and cut into approximately 1-inch pieces
  • 1 cup plus 2 Tbsp granulated sugar
  • 3 large eggs

Topping

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

Directions

Crust

  1. Cut two 8×16-inch pieces of parchment. Put the strips in an 8×12 baking pan (preferably straight-sided) so that they cross each other and the excess hangs over the pan’s sides. Push the parchment into the bottom and corners of the pan. Useful to use paper clips to hold down the parchment paper in place.
  2. Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 350°F.
  3. Break the graham crackers into a food processor and process until finely ground.
  4. Add the melted butter and pulse until the mixture resembles damp sand.
  5. Transfer the crumbs to the lined pan and press them firmly and evenly into the pan.
  6. Put in the oven and bake 10 minutes, until golden.
  7. Set aside, let it cool to room temperature. In the meantime, prepare the cheesecake. When done, lower the baking temperature to 325 F.

Filling

  1. Using a stand mix, in the cleaned bowl, add cream cheese and mix on low speed with the paddle attachment until it is smooth, approximately 3 minutes.
  2. Add the cream to the cheese and mix 1 minute longer.
  3. Mix in the eggs and finally the sugar for 2 minutes longer, stopping halfway to scrape the sides of the bowl.
  4. Pour the cheesecake mixture into the prepared pan.
  5. Bake at 325F until the sides are slightly puffed and the center is dry to the touch, about 40 minutes.
  6. While the cheesecake is baking, make the blueberry topping the squares.

Topping

  1. 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.
  2. Add the lavender and remove from the heat. Let the mixture steep for 15 minutes, then transfer to a blender and puree.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. Reduce the speed to low, then add the yogurt and the lavender syrup.
  6. If needed, use a spatula to make sure the mixture is blended together completely.
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