This week’s Saturday recipe is a huge treat, making the most of the delicious forced pink rhubarb that’s in season right now. Make the most of it! You think you don’t like rhubarb? Have you tried this lovely bright pink stuff? It’s incredibly delicious, and this creamy cheesecake makes the most of its wonderful tangy sweetness. This is really quick to make, although it does seem to involve an awful lot of bowls – make sure you have any empty dishwasher before you start (or a helper armed with a dishcloth!), and you’ll be fine.
500g pink rhubarb
1-2 tbsp honey (or sweetener of your choice)
2 tbsp sugar
150 ml double cream
a few drops of vanilla essence
200g Digestive biscuits, or other oaty, crumbly biscuit
1 tsp ground ginger
- Base line a 23cm (9″) loose-bottomed round flan/quiche tin.
- Crush the biscuits into a fine crumb. There are various ways of doing this. A food processor is quick but involves a lot of washing up. Alternatively, you can put the biscuits in a sturdy plastic bag and whack it with a rolling pin (but don’t hit it too hard or you will get crumbs everywhere) or you can put the biscuits in a roomy mixing bowl and crush with a blunt instrument (like the end of a rolling pin or a large pestle).
- Stir the ground ginger into the biscuit mix.
- Melt the butter over a low heat then stir into the crushed biscuits.
- Spread the biscuit mix over the base of your lined tin and press down firmly. Put the tin in the fridge so that the base can set.
- Meanwhile, bake your rhubarb. Preheat your oven to 200C (Gas Mark 6). Chop the rhubarb into 2cm chunks and put into a baking dish, drizzle with the honey (according to taste – I always add around 2 tbsp and then taste AFTER I’ve baked the rhubarb in case I need to add a little more).
- Bake the rhubarb in the oven for 20-25 minutes, until the rhubarb is soft, but not mushy. Leave to cool completely.
- Once the rhubarb is in the oven, you can make a start on the mascarpone cream. Separate the egg, putting the yolk in one bowl and the white into another (very clean) bowl.
- Lightly whip the double cream in another bowl (yes, the bowl marathon has started… I promise you it will be worth it!).
- Stir the sugar and the mascarpone into the egg yolk. Once that is thoroughly blended, beat in the the lightly whipped cream, then stir in the vanilla.
- Whisk the egg white until it forms stiff peaks and then fold gently into the mascarpone and cream mixture, using a metal spoon.
- Gently spread the cream filling over the biscuit base, then top with the cooled rhubarb. Spoon the syrupy juices of the rhubarb over the top.
- Refrigerate until you are ready to eat, but you can dig in straight away if you want to (and who can resist really?).
If you don’t fancy cheesecake… then you might want to check out our deliciously stodgy rhubarb flapjack crumble recipe – where you can also find the instructions for how to make the most incredible pink rhubarb schnapps a la Nigella (just add vodka!!).