Rhubarb: It’s tart, sweet… and in this no-bake rhubarb cheesecake recipe, it’s the classic taste of summer.
But first things first… Rhubarb is kind of weird. It’s a vegetable most often prepared as a fruit. (Are there any other vegetables like that?) It looks like giant red celery. And even though it’s beautiful in its sturdy fresh form, most people eat it chopped up and stewed (with sugar and water).
There are so many tasty things you can make with rhubarb (Sauce! Cakes! Muffins! Relishes!) In fact, rhubarb cake (more specifically, Mom’s rhubarb kuchen, is one of our favorite cakes of all time. But with a bumper crop of rhubarb on hand (thank you, Melissa’s), we decided to branch out and try something we haven’t tried before. That’s how we set out to make this no-bake rhubarb cheesecake that is the perfect antidote to these hot temperatures.
No-Bake Rhubarb Cheesecake
An easy, creamy, no-bake cheesecake with a sweet-tart rhubarb topping.
Graham Cracker Crust
- 10 graham crackers (or 1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs)
- 1/2 cup butter, melted
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 1/2 cup whipping cream
- 2 tsp. unflavored gelatin
- 16 oz. cream cheese, softened
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 tsp. vanilla
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1 1/4 cups whipping cream (additional)
- 2 large stalks of rhubarb
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup apple juice
Prepare the crust: Place graham crackers in a food processor and process until the mixture becomes fine crumbs. Place the crumbs in a bowl, and mix with the melted butter and salt. Line a 9"x9" pan with parchment paper and then press the crumbs into the pan to form an even crust. Place the crust in the freezer until the other ingredients are ready.
Place the 1/2 cup of cream and gelatin into a small saucepan, heat over medium heat and stir to dissolve the gelatin. Once the gelatin is dissolved, remove the mixture from the heat and set aside.
Using a large stand mixer, whip the cream cheese until it is smooth and then add the sugar and beat together. Add the vanilla and salt and mix thoroughly. Add the gelatin mixture and mix thoroughly.
Pour the remaining 1 1/4 cups of cream into a large mixing bowl and whip until stiff peaks form. Gently fold the whipped cream into the cream cheese mixture. Pour the cream cheese mixture over the crust and smooth it with an offset spatula. Place the cheesecake in the refrigerator while preparing the rhubarb.
Slice the rhubarb into even (approximately 1/4 to 1/2 inch) slices and lay the slices out on a baking sheet (it makes for easier cleanup if you lay them out on top of parchment paper). Sprinkle the sugar and apple juice on top of the slices. Roast them at 400 degrees for 12 to 15 minutes, or until soft (don't let them burn). Let the slices cool, then arrange them on top of the cheesecake. Return the rhubarb cheesecake to the refrigerator. When ready to serve, lift the cheesecake out of the pan with the parchment paper and serve on a platter.
OK, full disclosure: We did turn on the oven. We roasted the rhubarb in the oven for this topping because we wanted to line up the pieces in straight lines. But if you didn’t want to turn on the oven at all, you could simply stew the rhubarb with water and sugar on the stovetop. When the mixture is cool, dollop the stewed rhubarb on top for the perfect rhubarb cheesecake.
Also, a note about serving: This cheesecake is pretty sturdy and will stay intact when you lift it out of the pan. with the parchment paper. Use a large spatula to slide it gently off the parchment paper on to a serving platter. When you’re ready to serve it, wipe the knife clean between cuts to get nice clean slices. And definitely serve it cold!
Love rhubarb? We’ve got more recipes coming this week, so stay tuned.
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