After months of snow, rain, and grey skies, rhubarb bursts onto the scene with its beautiful colour and tart, refreshing flavour. As soon as we spot those ruby red stalks at the market, we know spring is finally here! A bit sweet, slightly tart and extremely vibrant, rhubarb brightens up all of our favourite desserts and pastries – and this cheesecake is no exception.
Against a canvas of creamy white cheesecake, this jewel-toned rhubarb raspberry coulis pops off the plate. A hint of lemon would pair wonderfully in the cheesecake filling, but we love pure vanilla bean to round out all of the tangy flavours of the rhubarb and raspberry. A classic graham cracker crust and sour cream topping keep the slices clean and elegant for a sweet spring or Easter celebration.
Explore another spectacular spring dessert couple with our best strawberry rhubarb recipes.
Rhubarb Raspberry Coulis
Cooling time: 6 hours.
For the crust: Preheat oven to 325ºF.
Add the crumbs to a mixing bowl along with the sugar. Add the melted butter and stir to combine.
Pour the crust mixture into the bottom of a 9-inch springform pan. Press the crust into an even layer on the bottom of the pan using your fingers tips or the bottom of a flat measuring cup or drinking glass.
Bake for 15 minutes. Cool completely on a wire rack as you prepare the filling.
For the cheesecake filling: Increase the oven temperature to 350ºF. Bring 4 to 6 cups of water to a boil (enough to halfway fill a large roasting pan) and set aside. Place a large roasting pan on the very bottom rack of your oven. Place a second rack just above the roasting pan.
Meanwhile, place the cream cheese in the bowl of an electric mixer. Using the paddle attachment, mix the cream cheese on medium-low for about 5 minutes, or until completely smooth. Stop and scrape down the bowl every couple of minutes.
Add the sugar, salt and vanilla bean seeds or extract into the cream cheese and mix for another 4 minutes. Stop the mixer and scrape down the bowl. Mix for another 60 seconds to smooth out any lumps.
With the mixer on low, add the eggs one at a time. Allow each egg to fully incorporate into the batter before adding in the next. Stop the mixer and scrape down the bowl.
Add the sour cream. Mix on medium-low until the batter is creamy and uniform, about 2 minutes.
Pour the batter into the cooled crust. Smooth out the top as needed. Tap the bottom of the cake pan on top of the counter a few times to expel any trapped air bubbles. Wrap the sides of the pan in a double layer of aluminum foil.
Very carefully pour the recently boiled water into the roasting pan. Place the baking pan on the rack above the roasting pan and bake for 1 hour. When done, the sides should be puffed and set while the centre should jiggle when the pan is moved. If it is not ready, check again after an additional 10 minutes of baking. Once done, turn the oven off and prop the door open with a wooden spoon. Allow the cake to cool inside the humid oven for about 45 minutes. Once cool, remove the cake from the oven and place on a wire rack.
For the cheesecake topping: Turn the oven back on to 350ºF. As the oven heats back up, combine the sour cream and sugar for topping the cheesecake. Carefully spread the topping over the top of the cheesecake with a small offset spatula. Return the topped cheesecake back to the oven and bake for 10 minutes.
Turn off the oven and again prop open the door with a wooden spoon. Allow the cake to cool in the oven for about 15 minutes before placing it on a wire rack. Let cool for an additional 30 minutes then place in the refrigerator. Drape a piece of parchment paper over the top of the cheesecake to prevent condensation from forming and chill for at least 4 hours or overnight (best).
For the rhubarb raspberry coulis: Place the rhubarb and raspberries in a saucepan over medium heat. Add the sugar and cook until the fruit begins to break down and juices begin to simmer about 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, dissolve the cornstarch in the lemon juice. Stir the lemon juice mixture into the rhubarb and cook for a few minutes. Remove the mixture from the stove and blend until smooth. Press the puree through a fine-mesh sieve to remove the raspberry seeds. Store in the refrigerator until ready to use.
To assemble and serve: To release the cheesecake from the pan, carefully run a thin knife around the edges of the cake before unlocking the springform pan. Warm a metal spatula under hot water, dry, then run it around the edges of the cheesecake to smooth.
Slice cheesecake into wedges, cleaning your knife in between slices, and add to plates. Top with a generous drizzle of coulis and serve.