Monday, August 29, 2016

Blackberry Rhubarb Cheesecake with Pistachios

It was the beginning of summer when I made this cheesecake, when the trees were just barely blossoming and the early dewy mornings were still cold with the leftover chill of winter.  And now that summer is almost over, the evenings here in Colorado tend to be cool and drizzly, which I love.  Although the days are still unbearably hot for my 8-month pregnant self.

For two years now, the rhubarb plant in our backyard has faithfully produced plenty of bright red stalks of tart rhubarb all summer long, which I freeze to use throughout the year.  And for this lovely pink cheesecake, I used up the last of last summer's rhubarb and the first of this year's blackberries.

The creamy cheesecake filling is a little tart and a little sweet, full of the bright, summery flavors of rhubarb and berries.  I garnished it with salted pistachios and fresh flowers, and there was the perfect balance of salty and sweet, crunchy and creamy.

I'm so looking forward to fall, more than I usually do for one very important reason this year.  But for just a few more weeks, it's just the two of us, and it's still summer, with warm pink sunsets giving way to cooler nights.  This pretty cheesecake even tastes pink.

Blackberry Rhubarb Cheesecake with Pistachios

Blackberry Rhubarb Puree.
  • 1/2 pound rhubarb, diced
  • 3 ounces blackberries
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
In a saucepan, combine the fruit, sugar and cinnamon.  Simmer until the fruit is softened and the liquid evaporated.  Puree in a blender until smooth, then strain out the seeds.  Refrigerate until chilled.

  • 1 1/2 cups finely crushed graham cracker crumbs
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream, divided
  • 1 envelope unflavored gelatin
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 1/2 pounds cream cheese, room temperature
  • Rhubarb Blackberry Puree, chilled
  • Pistachios, for garnish  

Preheat the oven to 325.  In a bowl, combine the crushed graham crackers and salt.  Drizzle with the melted butter and toss with a fork until moistened.  Press against the bottom of an 9-inch springform pan.  Bake for 12 minutes, until golden brown and fragrant; set aside to cool completely.

Pour 1/4 cup cream into a microwave-safe dish.  Add the gelatin and whisk with a fork to combine.  Let stand for 5 minutes; it will be thick and clumpy.  Microwave on high for 30 seconds to completely dissolve the gelatin.  Set aside.

In the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the remaining 1 1/4 cups cream with the vanilla at medium-high speed until soft peaks form, gradually adding the powdered sugar as the cream thickens.  In a separate bowl, beat the cream cheese until smooth.  Add the cream cheese, gelatin mixture, and fruit puree to the cream and beat until smooth and thick with no lumps, about 2-3 minutes.  Immediately spread over the cooled crust, smooth out the top, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 4-6 hours, or overnight.

Garnish with chopped pistachios.

Recipe from Curly Girl Kitchen