Maybe it was winter, but my cooking/recipe slump feels like it is finally ending and I’m feeling the inspiration! Maybe the summer like weather here the past week has helped? 90 degrees in the first part of May. What!?
While re-testing a recipe for an upcoming event for work (I’m making my Lemon Lavender Energy Bites), I brought in the samples to co-workers and they correctly noted that the energy bite dough would make an awesome crust for cheesecake. I made a mental note of this and then went forward to try and determine if a baked or no-bake cheesecake would be best for this. No-bake was the obvious answer since the crust is also meant to be mainly raw. The filling is slightly tangier than a normal cheesecake, so you could just call it a tart, but I’m going to stick to my guns on this and say cheesecake. 🙂
The base of the crust is ground, roasted pistachios and almond butter (in addition to the flavors of lemon and lavender) but a small difference from the regular energy bites is that I incorporated some coconut oil and less almond butter. I think the coconut oil hardens up a bit better and allows the crust to keep more of its shape when cooled. (Ignore the crumbs below – I was a bit over zealous in diving in for a bite.)
A bit about the food grade lavender. I get mine from a local farm, Los Poblanos, but the great thing now is that they ship nation-wide and have a whole bunch of other boutique body products. And another side note – their restaurants is super super delicious – I’ve been for breakfast, brunch, and dinner and always want to go back. They built a new restaurant onsite and just re-opened in the new place within the last year. If you have a chance to visit Albuquerque, NM, I totally recommend visiting their Farm Shop for the lavender and restaurant, Campo, just to eat… and I suppose stay overnight in their inn too if you can.
But back to the food.
Lemon Lavender No-Bake Cheesecake
Makes 2-3 mini cheesecakes or one larger pie
Lemon Lavender Crust
- 1/2 c raw, unsalted, pistachios (meats, shelled)
- 1 tsp grated lemon
- 1/2 cup almond or coconut flour
- 1 T turbinado sugar
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 2 T creamy almond butter (do not use peanut butter – it will overpower the other flavors)
- 3 T coconut oil
- 1 tsp whole culinary lavender (add an additional 1/2 tsp based on strength of lavender flavor)
- 1/4 c honey
- 1/2 tsp lemon extract
- 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
- 8 oz. cream cheese, room temperature
- 1/3 c powdered sugar
- Pinch of salt
- 1/2 c plain Greek yogurt, room temperature
- 1/2 c heavy cream
- 1/2 -3/4 tsp whole culinary lavender, crushed
- 1 tsp lemon zest
- Favorite lemon curd for topping
- Place nuts and flour in the food processor first. I used a 2 cup food processor or small option if using a larger processor. Pulse until nuts resemble a course meal.
- Add in sugar, salt, lavender, and extracts. Process for another 3-5 second or until well combined.
- Lastly, blend in almond butter, coconut oil, and honey. Pulse until well combined and the mixture holds its shape when pressed together. Add additional honey 1 T at a time until mixture holds a shape without crumbling.
- Divide the crust mixture between your three mini spring form pans or press into the bottom of a glass pie plate for a larger dessert.
- Place in refrigerator to cool while making the filling.
- In a medium bowl, beat cream cheese on medium-high speed until light and creamy. Beat in sugar, lavender, lemon zest, and salt until evenly incorporated.
- Add in the Greek yogurt and beat until evenly incorporated.
- In a separate bowl, whip heavy cream until stiff peaks form. Carefully fold the whipped cream into the cream cheese mixture with a spatula.
- Add your filling to the mini spring form pans or pie plate, evenly spreading the mixture over the top.
- Cover and refrigerate for at least 5 hours. Served chilled, topped with lemon curd and sprinkles of lavender and additional lemon zest if desired.
Lavender and lemon just scream spring and summer to me, but when I went to the store looking for some lemon curd (and you can totally make your own BTW), I was told it was seasonal – Thanksgiving. Hmmm. For me lemon can be used all year round, but is particularly bright like summer. I guess you learn something new everyday. 🙂
Enjoy and I’m glad to be back in the realm of creating recipes again!