Lemon, Rhubarb Cheesecake

12I love cheesecake. It’s more or less the only thing I can’t control myself from eating. I made this exact same recipe once in Singapore, with my uncle, and ended up loving it so much that I ate it for breakfast with fresh fruit five days in a row. This of course is unsustainable and not great for a balanced diet but I was a very happy girl.

Cheesecake is probably the most ideal thing to make when there is little space in the fridge and the house you are living in is not totally unlike living in a deep freezer. It’s always a sad day when you wake up and see your breath snuggled underneath three duvets and a woolen blanket. Sometimes it’s warmer going outside on days like that. Winter is coming.

It occurred to me that I bake to many cake or near-cake goods. I am going to try and move back into other baked groups, it’s just that cakes are so damn lovely. Speaking of cakes, I should mention a thing or two about this one.

This simple cheesecake is graced with the addition of a sour, tart topping of stewed rhubarb swirled into the first centimeter or so of the cake. It’s great when the cake itself lacks any sort of punch, rather adds an extra ‘something’ to the mellow creaminess that we all know and love to be, cheesecake. The base is simple and quick – you could probably add spices such as ginger, cinnamon or nutmeg to it if you felt it needed a more complex and layered flavour.

It’s probably best in the summer time to cool and comfort. New Zealanders; eating ice cream in the middle of winter is just what we do.

Lemon, Rhubarb Cheesecake
Adapted from The Girl In The Little Red Kitchen

  • 150 grams wine biscuits
  • 50 grams butter, melted
  • 500 grams cream cheese, room temperature
  • 250 grams ricotta, room temperature
  • 250 grams sour cream, room temperature
  • 4 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 cup granulated white sugar
  • 2 tablespoons  lemon zest
  • 1/2 cup lemon juice (about 3-4 large lemons)
  • stewed rhubarb, as much as you like

Turn the base of your springform pan upside down and clip in as usual. This will allow your cheesecake to slide off very nicely when you’re ready to serve. Grease the pan and line the bottom with a piece of baking paper cut into a circle. Preheat your oven to 180˚C.

Using a food processor, pulse the cookies until broken down into a fine crumb. Add the melted butter and pulse until well combined, the mixture should look like wet sand. Pour into the base and press firmly and evenly into the bottom. Bake for 8 – 10 minutes for a nice golden colour, remove and cool.

Lower your oven to 160˚C and boil a full jug of water. Take the cooled crust, and with a few layers of aluminum foil, wrap the bottom and sides so no water can leak inside.

Cream together cream cheese, sugar and lemon zest for 4 minutes. Then add the sour cream and ricotta; add the eggs in one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Pour in the lemon juice and mix to combine. Scrape down sides and pour into the prepared pan.

Smooth the top of the cheesecake batter and swirl in the stewed rhubarb. Place the pan in a larger pan. Pour the boiling water into the larger pan so that it reaches halfway up the springform pan. Bake for an hour and 15 minutes or until the middle no longer jiggles. Remove and let it too completely in the pan. Refrigerate for at least 6 hours and do not remove from pan until you are ready to serve. This cheesecake goes great with a  berry coulis or stewed rhubarb.

**If you want to go that extra mile I highly recommend substituting the ricotta for mascarpone cheese. It’s divine. Or you could go with no ricotta and use more cream cheese instead, that’s also delicious. It depends on what you want, what’s most cost effective, or what you’ve got in the fridge.**

***Honestly I prefer it with mascarpone cheese, it was just particularly expensive at the supermarket that day and I felt ricotta might substitute it well; it is a sharper flavour as I found out.***

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