Dominic Jack gives frosted rhubarb its just dessert with this recipe for rhubarb and highland crowdie cheesecake with beetroot.

  • 180
  • 6
  • Easy
It’s often thought of alongside fruit and sweeter dishes, but rhubarb is actually a vegetable – and a pretty outstanding one too. In Scotland, rhubarb is abundant. It’s a resilient vegetable and, in fact, needs a period of frost in the winter to produce the best stalks, which is why growing conditions here can be ideal. We’ve been enjoying forced rhubarb since the beginning of the year – where it’s grown in controlled conditions, but as spring arrives, we can enjoy wild rhubarb. The two do differ in flavour slightly, so if you’re cooking with wild rhubarb, you’ll find it won’t be as sweet as the forced variety you might be used to, so it may need a little more sugar added. You can buy fresh Scottish rhubarb from your local greengrocer or farmers’ market, but it’s also really easy to grow yourself at home if you have some garden space. Try to find a sunny but sheltered spot and well-drained soil and you could be enjoying it for years to come. Rhubarb is a delicate ingredient, which makes it perfect for this elegant rhubarb cheesecake. The key is to be careful not to overcook the rhubarb, or add too much liquid or it will end up mushy and much harder to work with. Vanilla and ginger tend to be the most common matches for rhubarb, whether in classic crumbles or tarts, but what makes this cheesecake even more special is the addition of the beetroot jelly. It not only adds yet more vivid colour to the plate, but the earthiness of the beetroot also cuts through the sharp tartness of the rhubarb, resulting in a really smooth, clean and balanced flavour. Don’t be afraid to try rhubarb with savoury dishes too. You can make your own batch of compote or jam to marry with spring’s seasonal meats, like pork or lamb, or even some meatier fish, like mackerel.

Ingredients

  • For the rhubarb soup and rhubarb centre:
  • 300g rhubarb – leaves completely removed, and stalks washed and chopped
  • 40g sugar
  • 100ml water
  • classic macaroon mould (you will need a mould to make 24)
  • For the base:
  • 150g biscuits – crushed Hobnobs work best
  • 65g soft butter
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • For the cheesecake:
  • 50ml coconut milk
  • 20ml egg yolk
  • 80g caster sugar
  • 1 leaf gelatine
  • 50g rhubarb purée
  • 95g mascarpone cheese
  • 80g Highland Crowdie cheese
  • 160ml whipped double cream
  • For the beetroot jelly:
  • 150g caster sugar
  • 100g glucose
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 200ml beetroot juice
  • 2 leaves of gelatine
  • 5g pectin NH
  • To serve:
  • 1 piping bag
  • ice cream or sorbet of your choice
  • 6 tuiles
  • confit rhubarb if desired

Method

Rhubarb and Highland Crowdie cheesecake with beetroot

To make the rhubarb soup

1 Place the sugar and chopped rhubarb into a small, heavy-bottomed pan. Add the water and bring to the boil. Turn down the heat so the rhubarb simmers gently. Partially cover with a lid and leave to cook for approximately 3 hours on a low heat. Pass through a sieve, pour the juices back into the pan and place in a jug. Once cooled, place in the fridge.

To make the rhubarb centre

2 Place the remaining rhubarb that has not passed through the sieve
into a separate bowl and blitz it with a food processor so you get a smooth liquid. Pass it through a sieve again. Pour the rhubarb liquid into the macaroon mould and place in the freezer. This should be left overnight to set.

To make the biscuit base

3 Heat the butter in a small pan until it has completely melted. Crush the biscuits into small pieces in a bowl. Add the melted butter and brown sugar to the bowl. Mix together well and set aside.

To make the cheesecake filling

4 Place the coconut milk into a pan and heat. Add the egg yolk and 20g of the caster sugar to the coconut milk and mix to form a custard. Add the gelatine leaf, then continue to mix well. Add the rhubarb purée, mascarpone and Highland Crowdie cheese. Continue to mix until completely smooth.

5 Whip the double cream and the remaining 60g caster sugar. Fold both mixes together and place into individual cheesecake moulds and then place in the fridge.

To make the beetroot jelly

6 Place the beetroot juice, caster sugar, glucose, pectin NH and the lemon juice into a small, heavy-bottomed pan and bring to the boil. Add the gelatine leaves and mix well.

To assemble the dish

7 Once the rhubarb moulds are frozen, you can begin to assemble the dish. Take six cylinders and place on a tray. At the bottom of each cylinder, spread a small layer of the biscuit base.

8 Add the cheesecake mix to a piping bag, then pipe over a layer of the mix and smooth over. Add a cube of the rhubarb from the mould, then cover with another layer of cheesecake mix and repeat three times, smoothing the final layer of cheesecake mix over the top, then place in the fridge to set overnight.

9 The next day, remove the cheesecakes from the fridge, and carefully remove the cylinders. Pour a layer of beetroot jelly over each cheesecake then trim away any spills.

10 Add ice cream or sorbet of your choice. We also decorate the dish with some sugar work, confit rhubarb and tuiles, but it’s just as stunning without.

11 Finally, pour the rhubarb soup very carefully around the cheesecake and serve.

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About The Author

Tom Kitchin and Dominic Jack

In March 2013, Tom Kitchin and close friend and fellow chef Dominic Jack opened The Scran & Scallie alongside the management team behind The Kitchin and Castle Terrace Restaurant. The pub, which is located in Stockbridge Edinburgh, presents a warm, family-friendly atmosphere, and showcases menus developed by Tom Kitchin and Dominic Jack of simple, affordable dishes executed to perfection, which demonstrate their expertise, passion and knowledge of the best suppliers in Scotland.

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About The Author

Tom Kitchin and Dominic Jack

In March 2013, Tom Kitchin and close friend and fellow chef Dominic Jack opened The Scran & Scallie alongside the management team behind The Kitchin and Castle Terrace Restaurant. The pub, which is located in Stockbridge Edinburgh, presents a warm, family-friendly atmosphere, and showcases menus developed by Tom Kitchin and Dominic Jack of simple, affordable dishes executed to perfection, which demonstrate their expertise, passion and knowledge of the best suppliers in Scotland.