A touch of dried lavender adds a floral note to this cheesecake, and a swirl of blackberry jam lends a colorful sweet touch. Just right for summer picnics and barbecues, the dessert couldn’t be easier to make, and you don’t need a special pan—it bakes up beautifully in a square cake pan. After the cheesecake sets up, cut into bars and enjoy.
Blackberry and Lavender Cheesecake Squares
For the crust:
- 2 cups (10 oz./315 g) vanilla wafer cookie crumbs
- 1/4 cup (1 oz./30 g) confectioners’ sugar
- 6 Tbs. (3/4 stick) (3 oz./90 g) unsalted butter, melted
- 1 tsp. kosher salt
- 1 1/2 tsp. crushed dried lavender
For the filling:
- 1 lb. (500 g) cream cheese, at room temperature
- 1/2 cup (4 oz./125 g) granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup (2 fl. oz./60 ml) heavy cream
- 3 eggs
- 2 tsp. vanilla extract
- Grated zest of 1 lemon
- 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
- 1/2 cup (5 oz./155 g) blackberry jam
- Blackberries for garnish
- Dried lavender for garnish (optional)
1. Preheat an oven to 375°F (190°C). Cut two pieces of parchment paper, each 9 inches (23 cm) wide by about 18 inches (45 cm) long. Using one of the parchment sheets, line the bottom and 2 sides of a 9-inch (23-cm) square baking pan, leaving about a 2-inch (5-cm) overhang. Arrange the second sheet of parchment perpendicular to the first.
2. To make the crust, in a bowl, stir together the cookie crumbs, confectioners’ sugar, melted butter, salt and dried lavender. Press the mixture into the bottom and 1 inch (2.5 cm) up the sides of the prepared pan. Bake until lightly browned and set, about 8 minutes. Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let cool completely. Reduce the oven temperature to 325°F (165°C).
3. To make the filling, in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the flat beater, beat the cream cheese on medium-high speed until smooth, about 3 minutes. Add the granulated sugar, cream, eggs, vanilla, lemon zest and salt and beat until well combined, about 2 minutes. Pour the filling into the cooled crust. Spoon the jam on top of the batter and, using a butter knife, swirl the jam into the batter.
4. Bake until the outside 2 inches (5 cm) of the cheesecake are firm to the touch but the middle still jiggles, about 1 hour. Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let the cheesecake cool completely. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or up to overnight.
5. Cut the cheesecake into squares, garnish with blackberries and dried lavender and serve. Makes 12 bars.
Williams Sonoma Test Kitchen