When I was a child my mother made strawberry rhubarb pies. We had a large rhubarb plant which grew on the side of our house. It had giant green leaves and gorgeous pinky red stalks. I remember the tartness of the pies and how they seemed to trigger the beginning of summer. Rhubarb has always held a special place in my heart, if nothing else than for the deep rootedness that it has with my childhood home. A while back we made some pressed rhubarb which we vacuum packed and froze. I let it thaw out and decided to use it to make a strawberry rhubarb cheesecake.
I began by thinking about the crust. We always do graham cracker crusts with our cheesecakes. This time I wanted something a little different and opted for the Golden Oreos that we had stashed away in the cupboard. Had I left them there it would have been too risky for my late night snacking. In the form of a cheesecake crust I knew I’d have to share them. I put them (about 25 of them) into our food processor and ground them up until they formed a crumb. I melted 4 tablespoons of butter in a small saucepan and then combined this with the Oreos. The mixture was pressed into the bottoms of two small springform pans and placed in the freezer for about ten minutes.
In the meantime I beat two 8 oz. packages of cream cheese until they were smooth. I had let them sit out for most of the morning assuring they really were at room temperature. That was my mistake last time- lumpy cream cheese. Patience is the name of the game here though. Room temperature will provide you with smooth cream cheese once beaten. To this I (slowly) added one 14 oz. can of sweetened condensed milk and then 1/4 cup of freshly squeezed lemon juice and a knife scrape of vanilla. I’m sure knife scrape is not a proper measurement….but I used the inside of one vanilla pod. This mixture was beaten until super smooth at which point I stirred in a good cup or so of strawberry rhubarb jam. The batter was then poured into the frozen crusts.
This is a no bake cheesecake. I was looking for something quick. It can be left in the fridge for 3-4 hours (overnight is best) or for the super impatient people of the world…pop them in the freezer for about an hour. This will firm them up and you will be able to release them without sticking sides and gloppy messes. Once released I stacked them and decorated the top with fresh mint leaves, chopped pressed rhubarb and crushed Oreos. The mint works so well with this. It sort of wakes the entire recipe up. The tart rhubarb is offset by the sweet Oreo crust. It is mini in size so perfect for a small family to devour after a light meal. It is simple but will impress everyone because it is a cheesecake after all…
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