Rhubarb and strawberries, although a classic combination, is a combination that is relatively new to me and up until a few weeks ago, was something that I’d never even tasted despite noticing its increasing popularity within restaurants and throughout the pages of food magazines.
Growing up in New York City, it wasn’t necessarily an ingredient you saw lining the supermarket shelves, but having recently gotten my hands on a few stalks, my curiosity piqued, and I decided to give this strange ingredient a try.
To me, it visually resembled celery, so I couldn’t imagine how it would taste in something sweet, and after giving a raw piece a few nibbles and being met with a bitter, almost acrid taste, I was still skeptical about how this would all go down, but I’m so happy that I did give it a try because this stuff is so amazingly delicious!
Mixed with the sugar and strawberries, and cooked down into a pretty pink sauce, it truly is the perfect combination of sour and sweet. I was actually quite surprised that it could taste so good! Pairing it with a creamy cheesecake seemed like the next best thing, so I did just that, and the flavors worked so well together. I also decided to mix things up just a bit and made the crust out of crushed Speculoos cookies and boy, I couldn’t get enough! I am now proud to call myself a rhubarb fan.
So the moral of the story is even if an ingredient looks a little strange at first, give it a try and it might just become your next favorite thing!
Strawberry Rhubarb Swirled Cheesecake Squares
Strawberry Rhubarb Sauce
- 4 stalks of rhubarb, chopped
- 2 cups of strawberries, halved
- 3 tablespoons of sugar
- 1/4 cup of water
- 2 8-ounce packages of cream cheese
- 1 cup of yogurt (I used siggi’s Plain)
- 3 eggs
- 1 teaspoon of vanilla
- 1/2 cup of sugar
Speculoos Cookie Crust
- 5 tablespoons of butter, melted
- 1 7-ounce box of Speculoos cookies
- Make the strawberry rhubarb sauce first by adding the rhubarb, strawberries, sugar, and water to a sauce pan. Allow to simmer for about 10 minutes or until the strawberries and rhubarb have begun to break down.
- Allow to slightly cool and place into a food processor or blender to smoother.
- Preheat the oven to 350°F and line a 9×9 square cake pan with parchment paper.
- Place the cookies in a food processor and pulse until fine. Once you’ve done that, place into a large bowl and pour in the melted butter, mixing until the texture is nice and crumbly, almost like wet sand. I didn’t add any extra sugar because the cookies already have sugar in them, but most definitely fell free to adjust to your taste.
- Firmly (but not too firmly!) press the cookie/butter mixture into the bottom of the parchment-lined cake pan and place into the oven to set for about 10 minutes. Remove and allow to cool.
- Add the cream cheese, yogurt, sugar, and vanilla to the bowl of a stand mixture and mix until just combined. Add each egg one at a time, mixing into between.
- Pour the cheesecake mixture on top of the cookie crust and smooth using a rubber spatula.
- Now comes the fun part! Dot the cheesecake with strawberry rhubarb sauce and carefully begin to swirl into fun patterns using either a sharp knife or an offset spatula. Clean between each swirl, making sure not to over mix.
- Place the cheesecake into the oven and bake for about 45 to 50 minutes, removing from oven and refrigerating at least overnight before cutting into squares.