Califonia Bountiful

Honey lavender cheesecake

This is a great recipe for a cheesecake that you can partially prepare in advance and freeze until you're ready to use.

Pastry Chef Alan Carter
Mission Beach Café, San Francisco

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1 cup graham cracker crumbs
3 tbsp. sugar
1 (9-inch) refrigerated pie dough round (or make Chef Carter's famous pie dough recipe)

Lavender infusion
2 tbsp. culinary lavender
¼ cup boiling water

16 oz. cottage cheese
1 ½ lb. cream cheese
½ cup melted butter
¼ cup cornstarch
2 tbsp. lemon juice
2 tsp. vanilla
2 tbsp. culinary lavender
1 ½ cups sugar
5 eggs
2 cups mascarpone
8 oz. goat cheese
1 cup sour cream
Purple food coloring (available in the baking section of your grocery store)
¼ cup honey


For crust: Mix graham cracker crumbs and sugar in a bowl. Sprinkle onto pie dough. Use a rolling pin to roll out to 1/8-inch thickness and place in a springform pan, being sure to trim any extra dough hanging off the side of the pan.

For lavender infusion: Add 2 tbsp. dried lavender to boiling water and let steep for approximately 10 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool. Strain out lavender and reserve 2 tbsp. of the infusion.

For cheesecake: Preheat oven to 300 degrees. In a food processor, blend cottage cheese until smooth; add cream cheese, butter, cornstarch, lemon juice and vanilla. Add lavender infusion and 2 tbsp. dried lavender and blend.  

Transfer cheesecake mixture to a mixer and, on low speed, incorporate sugar, eggs, mascarpone, goat cheese and sour cream. (Do not aerate.)

Transfer 3 cups of the cheesecake mixture to another bowl and add a pinch of purple food coloring to achieve the color you desire.  Set aside.

Pour uncolored cheesecake mixture over the crust in the springform pan. Follow with purple cheesecake mixture and honey. Use a butter knife to marble the purple color and honey into the uncolored cheesecake mixture.

Bake for approximately 1 1/2 hours. Cool to room temperature and refrigerate until cold.

Serves 12

Notes: Baked cheesecakes freeze well. Cool them completely and wrap securely in heavy-duty foil or plastic wrap. To thaw, place the wrapped cheesecake overnight in the refrigerator. This will prevent condensation from forming on top of the cheesecake. Once thawed, remove the wrap and transfer to a serving plate. Allow the cheesecake to come to room temperature before serving—about 30 minutes. Garnish as desired. Freezing for more than a month is not recommended to retain the best quality.

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