Remember when I told you guys I’m working on a couple of exciting new projects? I can finally reveal the details- I’m featuring in a series of videos!
The videos are beautiful, artistic and something I’ve always dreamed of doing. I’ve been shooting in Brooklyn for the past couple of weeks with a highly talented crew, and the videos will be live on a new website towards the end of the summer, where I’ll have my own channel. Until the site’s up and the videos are released, here’s a little video shoot I did in collaboration with Kettle & Cord!
Kettle & Cord is a home goods store in Crown Heights, Brooklyn. The people behind the store are my aunt and uncle, and they’ve got an innovative demo kitchen from which they release seasonal + holiday related recipe videos. They were eager to bring me on board and since Shavuos is right around the corner, I joined my aunt to demonstrate the making of this cheesecake tart.
We had such a great time! Gitty and I always have fun in the kitchen together, whether we’re bouncing ideas off of each other or experimenting with new techniques and the times we stay up late together Thursday nights cooking for family Shabbos meals are some of my favorite. We’d shot a bunch of videos already that day and were super tired, but we were infused with new energy once we started on this one. We had a couple of funny moments, like when I attempted to manually detach the beaters from the hand mixer, not realizing there was an “eject” button, and pulled so hard they sprung out, splashing me with cheesecake batter and leaving me sputtering in utter shock, while Gitty doubled over with laughter. It took us a while to get serious again, but thankfully we did, because hey, look! Now you have cheesecake! In tart form!
In general, I’m a big fan of tarts because they look super elegant, when in fact, they couldn’t be easier to put together. But I specifically love a cheesecake in tart form. The towering height of a classic cheesecake (such as this one) is too rich for some people, and a tart scales it down, yielding a thinner layer of cheesecake that’s lighter, yet just as creamy.
This tart, my favorite to date, features three simple components that come together to form a delicious and impressive dessert. The graham cracker crust is simple, updated with nutty browned butter, which adds flavor + crispness. Once the crust’s baked, it’s topped by a lemony, vanilla bean infused cheesecake batter. I prefer a New York style batter, using cream cheese and heavy or sour cream, over an Italian ricotta or regular cream cheese batter. I feel it’s smoother, tastier and a little more luxe.
The finished cheesecake is topped by silky smooth vanilla roasted rhubarb, which is sweet, tart and strikingly pretty. I love the color it lends to this tart, and roasting the rhubarb really draws out its flavors and caramelizes the fruit. Save any roasting liquid from the pan and funnel it into a little mason jar- it’s delicious over pancakes, swirled into plain yogurt, or even in a boozy lemonade!
This tart is a wonderful, seasonal way to celebrate Shavuos. Let me know what you’re making to celebrate in the comments, and I hope you enjoy the video!
Chag Sameach ❤
Watch the video HERE!
Yield: one 10″ tart
Why I love this recipe: a simple graham cracker crust is upgraded with browned butter, the creamy cheesecake filling is flavored with fresh vanilla bean, and soft, silky, just-sweet-enough roasted rhubarb adds flavor and color to this light, perfect for spring tart.
For the tart crust:
- 10 graham crackers, finely crushed
- 6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) butter, browned
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
For the cheesecake filling:
- 8 oz. cream cheese, room temperature
- 8 oz. sour cream, room temperature
- 1/2 cup white sugar
- 2 eggs, room temperature
- juice of 1/2 a lemon
- zest of one lemon
- seeds of 1 vanilla bean
- 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
For the roasted rhubarb:
- 12 oz. (340 grams) fresh rhubarb, leaves and stems removed
- 1/3 cup sugar
- split vanilla bean (from the cheesecake filling)
- juice of 1/2 a lemon
- Make crust: put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 350°F. Lightly butter a 10″ inch tart pan with a removable bottom. Stir together all crust ingredients in a bowl and press evenly on bottom and up side of tart pan.
- Bake until crisp, 12 to 15 minutes, then cool on a rack to room temperature, about 30 minutes.
- With an electric mixer whip the cream cheese and sour cream together until light and fluffy.
- Whip in the sugar followed by the eggs, lemon zest, lemon juice, vanilla bean seeds and salt. Beat on medium-high speed until light, fluffy, and smooth.
- Pour the filling into the cooled tart crust and bake until puffed and set, but still slightly wiggly in the center, 20-25 minutes.
- Let the tart cool to room temperature then refrigerate for at least 2 hours and up to overnight before serving.
- Roast the rhubarb: slice the rhubarb into 2-3 inch lengths. Toss it in a baking dish with the sugar, lemon juice and vanilla bean.
- Roast until soft and juicy, about 20-25 minutes. Let cool before arranging on top of the chilled cheesecake tart. Serve.