Chef Tom Kitchin gives us this wonderful seasonal recipe for rhubarb cheesecake

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  • Medium
Rhubarb is actually a vegetable, but when it comes to cooking, it’s treated like a fruit, despite the tart flavour. In these recipes, I’ve married the poached rhubarb with sweet orange to balance out the acidity. This is a really simple dish that makes the most of the rhubarb in an elegant way. You can even keep the syrup and put it on your breakfast cereal the next day to add flavour and colour. For the cheesecake, pairing the rhubarb with the smooth, creamy Knockraich Crowdie cheese again balances the flavour, but still allows the sharp rhubarb to cut through. Once March arrives, we start to see outdoor crop rhubarb come into season. It’s much more vibrant in colour and intense in flavour, which means it needs a bit more sugar and cooking time, but it’s still a joy to eat right through to early summer.

Ingredients

  • For the crumble base:
  • 100g caster sugar
  • 200g demerara sugar
  • 300g flour
  • 300g ground hazelnuts
  • 300g butter
  • 40g melted butter to mix in after baking
  • For the cheesecake:
  • zest of 2 lemons
  • seeds from 1 vanilla pod
  • 2½ leaves of gelatine
  • 350ml double cream
  • 250g cream cheese
  • 100g Knockraich Crowdie cheese
  • 70g icing sugar
  • handful of nuts
  • rose petals or edible flowers
  • For the jelly:
  • 2 leaves of gelatine
  • half a pint of rhubarb consommé (see above)

Method

Rhubarb cheesecake

For the crumble base:

Knead the butter into the dry ingredients to create a breadcrumb texture.

Bake at 170C/Gas Mark 3, mixing every 5 minutes until golden brown.

Once the crumble mixture is cooked, mix with 40g of melted butter and place in a lined ring for the base of the cheesecake.

For the cheesecake:

Soak the gelatine leaves in cold water.

In a small pan, add the lemon zest, vanilla seeds and 50ml of cream and heat over a low heat.

Then add the gelatine until it is melted.

Semi-whip the rest of the cream and leave to one side.

In a mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese, crowdie and icing sugar until smooth.

Add the cream and lemon mix and beat until the mixture is smooth and mixed through completely.

Fold this mixture into the semi-whipped cream then pour on to the base and chill until set.

For the jelly:

Pour the consommé into a saucepan.

Add the gelatine leaves and stir until the dissolved.

Turn on heat to medium and allow the mixture to simmer for about 10 minutes.

Turn off heat and let it sit for 1-2 minutes.

Stir and taste.

To serve:

Top the cheesecake with the jelly and chill to set.

You may place a handful of nuts and rose petals on top of the cheesecake for decoration.

Picture: Marc Millar

Picture: Marc Millar

About The Author

Tom Kitchin

Tom Kitchin is a Scottish chef and owner of restaurant The Kitchin, where he became the youngest winner of a Michelin star. He has previously worked with several Michelin starred chefs including Alain Ducasse and Pierre Koffmann.

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About The Author

Tom Kitchin

Tom Kitchin is a Scottish chef and owner of restaurant The Kitchin, where he became the youngest winner of a Michelin star. He has previously worked with several Michelin starred chefs including Alain Ducasse and Pierre Koffmann.