Natalie of Good Girl Style is back today with cheesecakes. And not just your standard cheesecakes. These individual pots of rich goodness are topped with tangy rhubarb, still one of the main local fruits we’re seeing, as strawberries try their best to ripen (more soon, please!). Natalie joins us each month to share incredible desserts with Big Girls, Small Kitchen readers–desserts that are entirely gluten-free, but not like obviously gluten-free. That means no specialty flours or hard-to-find ingredients, just good old-fashioned butter, sugar, chocolate, cream, and almonds. Don’t miss her most recent posts, about Lemon Bars and Coffee Granita.
Being a midwestern girl at heart, I love rhubarb in most any form, except perhaps straight out of the garden like some hardy Minnesotans. But add some sugar and some creamy cheesecake and “yah sure, you betcha,” it’s one of my favorites. This rhubarb sauce is so versatile, my Minnesotan grandfather always had a bowl of it in the fridge to eat on top of yogurt, ice cream, cottage cheese, or just plain with a spoon. Here it pairs deliciously well with a cool, sweet, creamy cheesecake filling.
Pick thin rhubarb stalks with plenty of red for the most delicious (and colorful!) sauce. Just remember not to include the leaves as they are poisonous to ingest! This no-bake dessert is the perfect ending to a grilled dinner. If you use little jars with lids and don’t fill them all of the way, the cheesecakes travel well in a cooler.
Rhubarb Cheesecake Pots
Makes about 4 cheesecake pots, depending on the size of your bowls or jars
For the rhubarb sauce
1 1/2 pounds rhubarb, chopped (no leaves!)
1/2 cup sugar (or more, to taste)
1/4 cup water
For the cheesecakes
Two 8-ounce packages cream cheese, softened
1 cup heavy cream
4-5 tablespoons powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Whipped cream, for garnish (optional)
Ground almonds, for garnish (optional)
Make the rhubarb: combine the rhubarb, sugar, and water in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil, then simmer for 5 to 10 minutes until the rhubarb “melts” and the mixture is cohesive. Taste for tartness and add more sugar if you’d like. Cool to room temperature.
While the sauce cools, make the cheesecake. In a mixer, beat cream cheese. Gently whip in the heavy cream. Add the powdered sugar and vanilla extract. Beat for 2 minutes, scraping the bowl down frequently, until well mixed and smooth. Pour into ramekins, jars, or small bowls, leaving ample room for rhubarb sauce.
Spoon the cooled rhubarb mixture over each cheesecake pot. Refrigerate the pots until thoroughly chilled, or overnight to let the flavors meld. Top with whipped cream and ground almonds if desired.