My foodie friend Karen Toocheck who owns Crystallized Flower Company in OH approached me about doing something together. Now, we couldn’t do this literally ‘together’…it had to be via Internet and telephone.
She had a recipe for a lavender cheesecake, which was confusing, and she said that since she wasn’t a baker, she thought we might work on this together. Karen wanted to see how the lavender would work in a cheesecake. Now, I assured Karen that pastry/desserts were not my forte either, but I’d love to give it a try. So, arriving at my home in SC weeks later was a big box from UPS with THE MOST AMAZING crystallized flowers, mint leaves, lavender—a regular cache of stunningly dainty and beautiful edible accessories. I got to work on the recipes, and we were in business!
I used the recipe Karen had sent for the cheesecake, but true to my Bohemian spirit, I altered it somewhat. What resulted was something pretty darn spectacular, especially for a first-time effort!
PREHEAT Oven 325
WHAT YOU NEED:
3 cups crushed graham crackers
¾ cup melted butter
1 cup sweet chardonnay or other sweet white wine (Gallo has a perfect sweet chardonnay)
2 tbl dried lavender
(3) 8oz packages softened cream cheese
½ cup sugar
(1) 6oz cup Greek lemon yogurt
6 large eggs (beaten)
2 TBL lemon zest
3 TBL lemon juice
6 oz sour cream
6 oz Greek lemon yogurt
WHAT YOU DO:
- Melt butter and combine with graham cracker crumbs blending thoroughtly. Pat into the bottom of a springform pan.
- In a small saucepan over medium high heat, combine the wine & lavender. Bring to a boil & reduce to about half. Strain and reserve the liquid.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the softened cream cheese and sugar. With a mixer at low speed, blend together. Add the lemon yogurt and blend. Slowly add beaten eggs and blend well. Finally, drizzle in the lavender liquid and mix well.
- Pour into the springform pan. Loosely cover with foil (so top does not brown too much) for the first 45 minutes then remove foil. Bake for about 55-65 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Allow to cool thoroughly before putting on topping. You may even refrigerate.
- Topping: Combine sour cream and yogurt and spread over the top. Refrigerate for 30 minutes before serving.
- Garnish with edible lavender or your choice of fresh fruit.
© 2011 Alice D’Antoni Phillips What’s for Dinner? Ally’s Kitchen