Monday 17 August 2009

strawberry & rhubarb cheesecake tart

strawberry & rhubarb cheesecake tart 1

Time is doing freaky things all over the place at the moment, and I don't like it. I keep intending to post a particular recipe that just-can't-wait, and then thinking, you know, 'shit, better post that asparagus tart before next year's asparagus turns up', or 'when is rhubarb season over'?

I don't know when rhubarb season is over, but I'm posting this in the hopes that the answer is Not Yet.

So that's annoying enough to keep track of, but you want to know what's really weird? My nineteenth birthday. The other day. Um, what? Nineteen is old. Nineteen is resolutely Not A Child. Nineteen sucks.

fruit picking 1strawberry & rhubarb cheesecake tart 5strawberry & rhubarb cheesecake tart 4fruit picking 2

Interesting fact for you: I was sixteen when I began Happy Love Strawberry. I mean, okay, it was like the day before my seventeenth birthday. But still! I was technically sixteen! And ever since, one thing I've heard a lot is 'I can't believe you're only 17/18/so young'. No longer!

I think I can feel my cells dying.

Anyway, since summer is going by crazyfast - does time do this as you get older? Oh my god, I'm having an age crisis here - I had to rethink the post I'd initially planned for today so I could share this with you before the last of the strawberries & rhubarb is lost to us. Lost, like my youth.

So: this recipe. You know when I fell in love with the brown sugar cinnamon pastry of my apricot galette, a few weeks ago? Well, I promised you'd see it again, and here it is; but this time, with a creamy layer of baked vanilla cheesecake between pastry and fruit - because everyone knows that anything is better with cheesecake involved. And yes, it's another big hit with my mother, especially warm from the oven and finished with a melting scoop of vanilla ice cream. Oh my.

strawberry & rhubarb cheesecake tart 2

Strawberry & Rhubarb Cheesecake Tart

I had no idea if I even liked rhubarb before making this tart - but yum, apparently I do. If you're dubious over it, you can definitely use all strawberries, but you'd need to reduce the sugar a little (likewise, if you wanted to use all rhubarb (900g/2lb), I'd up the sugar back to 85g/3oz; these were the original proportions in the recipe I based this upon).

This is the perfect late-summer dessert: a little sweet, a little tart, kind of wholesome, and wrapped in brown sugar cinnamon pastry. Do you think I've said those words enough times yet?

For the pastry:
150g (5oz) plain flour
(2oz) wholemeal flour
2 tsp cinnamon
(1 stick + 2 tbsp) cold butter, cut into small chunks
(3oz) light muscavado sugar
1 egg, separated

1 tbsp demerara sugar

1. Put the flour & cinnamon in a food processor and add the butter, processing to make fine crumbs. Reserve 2tbsp of the muscavado sugar, then add the remainder and the lemon zest, and briefly mix. Add the egg yolk and 1 tbsp water, then pulse to make a firm dough. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and briefly knead. Wrap in cling film and chill for 30 mins.

For the fruit:
juice of 1 whole lemon
strawberries, sliced
(2oz) caster sugar

2. Put the lemon juice in a pan with the rhubarb & caster sugar, and cook on a low heat til sugar is dissolved. Then cook for about 5 mins, tipping the strawberries in for the last minute or so (so they don't break up too much). It will be very juicy; tip it all into a sieve over a bowl and leave to cool.

Preheat oven to 200C.

For the cheesecake:
1 egg
finely grated zest of 1/2 lemon
full-fat soft cheese
g (2oz)
caster sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla

3. Beat the egg in a bowl, then beat in soft cheese, sugar, vanilla and lemon zest.

4. Roll out pastry on a sheet of baking parchment to a roughly 12"/30cm round. Slide pastry & paper onto a large baking sheet. Spread cheesecake mixture over pastry to within 2"/5cm of the edges. Spread cooled fruit over top, then fold the pastry edges over the filling, leaving the centre exposed. Brush with reserved egg white & sprinkle with 1tbsp demerara sugar. Bake at 200C for 30mins.

5. Optional: While baking, heat the reserved juices with 50g sugar and boil for a few minutes until reduced to a thickish glaze (I left mine runny, for time reasons). Drizzle a little over the fruit to when out of the oven, and serve the rest warm, separately. Eat warm or hot with ice cream.

strawberry & rhubarb cheesecake tart 3


Clair said...

Yuuum! I want some!!

Irina @ PastryPal said...

If you think you're old, then I've got one foot in the grave. Time goes by absurdly quickly. We're almost out of the 2000's. Where has the time gone!!??? Ok, must breathe. Must focus on delicious strawberry and rhubarb cheesecake tart. Ahhhh. All better.

alexandra's kitchen said...

Oh my gosh, stop with the feeling old crap! I am turning 28 in September and want to kill myself! 19! OMG you are a baby. Funny post, though. This tart looks fabulous!

Julia @ Mélanger said...

Funny post. I guess no matter how old you are, you often want to be younger as there's so much to do! So you have to throw yourself into things, everyday. Like this tart! Perfect. Lovely.

Adam said...

HA I don't think you're going to find too much sympathy here among the foodies about age. I like to think I'm on the younger side of blogging too, and they bust on me a little :)

But anyways, great job on the tart, and I'm glad you took rhubarb up to the plate with you. It's not the prettiest fruit, but it does have it's glory once in a while.

grace said...

never as a 26-year-old have i felt so darn ancient. happy birthday, indigo--enjoy the end of your teens. tubular tart, of course--i love the gorgeous color, the fruits involved, and that tender crust.

Dewi said...

The title alone is very appetizing, then you see the photos .... it makes me drool!

Callie said...

Wow, this looks amazing. I would of course make it with just the strawberries, being the addict that I am, but it looks delightful.

And yes, time does do that as you start to age. I'm just turning twenty and the years just keep zipping by faster and faster. I'm afraid by the time I reach true adulthood it'll be like living at lightspeed.

Ingrid_3Bs said...

Um, thanks, rhubarb has been long gone here and um, I'm waaaaaaaay older than you with obvious emphasis on old, huh?! THAAAAAANKS! LOL

Looks and sounds go, Indigo!

♥Rosie♥ said...

Old no way Indigo, well I must have been on the earth then when dinosaurs ruled ;0)

Your strawberry and rhubarb cheesecake tart looks so scrummy!!

Karine said...

My cells are probably dead because I will turn 25 in about 3 weeks....

Loved your recipe. Great way to use rhubarb for people like me who froze some at the beginning of the summer!

Anonymous said...

I used to think 17 is the perfect age and once i turned 18, the world will turn up-side-down and I can no longer enjoy my life because the adult world is full of "scary stuff".

But now, as a 22-year-old (a granny to your standard), the world stay the same (of course), but I feel happier, cos I have got a lot more lovely memories than when I was 17 :)

Your tart is simply gorgeous! love strawberry and rhubarb!

Poorni Pillai said...

Come on, don't get so caught up with the whole age thing, but I guess you'll figure that out, in time :) The tart looks beautiful!

Anonymous said...

I'm going to need to give that dough recipe a try. It sounds perfect, and looks amazing!

Happy belated birthday! Don't worry, once you've reached my age (26), you'll be too old to even bother thinking about numbers. :P

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Jimy said...

Yummy, it looks amazing and hope delicious as well. Thank you for sharing recipe with us, will try to make it at home for sure

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This is a mouthwatering recipe. Also rich with nutrionts. Strawberry is filled with lots of vitaminsand calcium whie cheese is filled with protein so overall its a healthy recipe too.

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