Forced pink rhubarb arrives in February. Here it is cooked with stem ginger syrup and then baked in a creamy cheesecake.
- 150g (5oz) Duchy Original Stem Ginger biscuits or Ginger Nuts, finely crushed
- 60g (2 ½ oz) butter, melted
- 400g (14oz) forced rhubarb, trimmed and cut into 2.5cm (1in) lengths
- 1tbsp stem ginger syrup from the jar
- 100g (4oz) caster sugar
- 300g (10oz) cream cheese, at room temperature
- 2 eggs
- 1 egg yolk
- 1 tbsp cornflour
- Zest of 1 lemon, finely grated
- 150ml (1/4 pt) sour cream
- 2 pieces stem ginger, finely chopped
You will need:
- a 20cm (8in) spring form tin, base lined with baking parchment
For the base, place the biscuits and butter in a bowl, stir well then press into the base of the tin. Chill whilst you make the filling.
Put 50g (2oz) caster sugar, stem ginger syrup and 1 tbsp water in a wide shallow pan and bring to a gentle simmer. Add the rhubarb and poach gently for 10 minutes or until the rhubarb is just cooked when tested with the point of a knife. Do not allow the rhubarb to go mushy. Place a sieve over a bowl and drain the rhubarb well. Reserve the juice.
Heat the oven to 180C, 160C fan, 350F, gas 4.
Place the remaining 50g (2oz) caster sugar in a mixing bowl with the cream cheese, eggs, egg yolk, cornflour, lemon zest and sour cream. Beat until the mixture is thick and smooth. Scatter the stem ginger over the biscuit base and then evenly cover the base with the drained rhubarb. Pour the cream cheese mixture on top and smooth the surface. Give the tin a couple of sharp taps on the worktop to remove any air pockets. Place on a baking tray and cook on the middle shelf for 15 minutes, then reduce the oven temperature to 150C, 130C fan, 300F, gas 2 and cook for a further 25-30 minutes. The outside of the cheesecake should be firm and the centre should still be wobbly. Remove from the oven, run a round bladed knife around the outside and leave to cool, then chill in the fridge for 6 hours or overnight.
Whilst the cheesecake is cooking, place the reserved rhubarb juices in a small pan and cook over a gentle heat reduced to a thick syrup. Leave to cool. To serve, remove the cheesecake from the tin, slice and spoon a little rhubarb syrup over each slice.