I feel like rhubarb season just started….and now it’s almost over? Every time I spy it in a store I clean them out because I know it won’t be long before there isn’t any to be found. Anywhere. Except for my pathetic little second year plant, struggling for survival in my sometimes green, sunny and warm/snow-covered, bitterly cold garden.
I suppose this will be my last rhubarb recipe of the year, which makes me so sad. I love that gorgeous vegetable.
I’ve really been loving the combination of rhubarb, orange, and pink peppercorns. Rhubarb and orange compliment each other so well, both tangy, while the orange adds in a vibrant sweetness. The pink peppercorn is both floral and spicy, perfectly complimenting all of that tang. And the color? Sooo pretty.
Something else I’ve been loving? Goat’s cheese cheesecake. I like them deep and coated on all sides with a rich, buttery graham cracker crust.
Here are a few tips for perfectly executing this Spring-y, elegant dessert:
*I didn’t include instructions in the recipe for making the rhubarb-rose topping, mostly because it was a stringy fail that made it very difficult to cut through the top of the cheesecake. I didn’t cook the rhubarb strips before topping the cheesecake, which would have made them more tender. If you do want to attempt this topping, shave long strips of rhubarb off of the pinkest stalks and simmer them for 30 seconds in the syrup made in the first part of the recipe. Then lay the softened strips piece by piece in circles over the top of the cheesecake right before baking.
*If you aren’t comfortable using the cake pan method in the instructions for baking this cheesecake, a springform pan will work just as well. Remember to line the outside of the pan completely with tin foil before baking to prevent water from leaking in to the cake if you use this method.
*I know goats cheese can be expensive, especially when you are looking at 20 ounces worth. If you have a access to a Costco, they sell goats cheese in packs of 2(10 oz. each) for about $7. Perfectly priced for this dessert!
*Make sure this cheesecake is fully chilled before attempting to remove from the pan(see instructions). I even pop it in the freezer for an hour before inverting, just to make sure that there is no wobble to the cheesecake, thus ensuring a flawless removal – making sure that you run a knife over every inch of the pan in between the crust is very important, as well.
- 2 cups Rhubarb, sliced
- Juice of 2 Oranges
- ½ cup Honey
- 1 teaspoon Pink Peppercorns, crushed
- 3 cups Graham Cracker Crumbs
- 17 tablespoons Salted Butter, melted
- 20 ounces goats cheese, softened
- 16 ounces cream cheese, softened
- ¾ cup Raw Cane Sugar
- 1 tablespoons Vanilla
- 3 Eggs
- Place the rhubarb, orange juice, honey and peppercorns in a saucepan and place on medium/high heat. Stir occasionally as the fruit cooks down. Fruit will release it's juices and thicken as it cooks, about 5-7 minutes. When mixture is thick and syrup-y, remove from heat. Let cool while you make the cheesecake.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- Use a bit of the melted butter to coat the inside of an 8" cake pan(3 inches deep - if your pan is not deep you will need to use a 9 or 10 inch pan). Line the bottom of the pan with a circle of parchment paper.
- Mix the graham cracker crumbs and melted butter together in a mixing bowl until well combined. Press the mixture firmly and evenly over the bottom and sides of the prepared pan. Set aside.
- Place the goats cheese, cream cheese, and sugar in a large mixing bowl. Beat until smooth, scraping down the sides as needed. Add the vanilla and beat in until smooth Add the eggs, one at a time, beating until smooth and scraping down the sides as needed.
- Strain the cooked rhubarb from the syrup it is sitting in. Reserve the syrup to pour over the cheesecake once it has cooked and cooled. Add the cooked rhubarb to the cheesecake mixture and fold in until distributed.
- Scoop the cheesecake mixture into the crust-coated pan.Place the pan in a larger pan of the same depth and place in the oven. Fill the larger pan with water until it comes ⅔ of the way up the sides of the cheesecake pan.
- Bake for 60-70 minutes, or until top is puffed and edges are golden brown. Carefully remove from oven, remove from water bath, and let cool at room temperature for 1 hour. Place in the fridge and let chill for 6 hours or freeze for 2 hours. To remove, run a sharp knife in between the crust and pan to loosen the cheesecake. Running a hot, wet washcloth over the sides and bottom of the pan helps, as well. Place a sheet of plastic wrap over the top of the cheesecake and place a plate over the top. Flip the cheesecake over and carefully remove the pan. Place a serving dish on top of the cheesecake bottom(which should be right side up) and flip back upright. Remove the plate and plastic wrap from the top of the cheesecake.
- Pour the reserved syrup over the top of the cheesecake. Add extra crushed peppercorns over the top, if desired.
- Serve chilled!