Strawberry Rhubarb Pie Cheesecake

Recipe courtesy of Anita Golton, Flying Squirrel Bakery & Cafe

SERVINGS: 12-16

Crust
1 ¾ cups graham cracker crumbs
¼ cup unsalted butter, melted
¼ cup honey, warmed

Cheesecake Custard
2 lb cream cheese, room temperature
½ cup honey
½ cup sugar
1 ½ tsp vanilla extract
1 ½ cups sour cream
3 eggs, room temperature
2 Tbs arrowroot powder or unbleached
all-purpose or pastry flour

Sauce
2 cups fresh or frozen rhubarb, chopped
1 ½ cups fresh or frozen strawberries,
cut in halves or quarters
½ cup sugar

Streusel Topping
1 cup unbleached all-purpose or whole wheat
pastry flour
½ cup brown sugar
Pinch salt
6-7 Tbs butter, room temperature

Prepare the Crust and Custard: Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Combine graham cracker crumbs, melted butter and warmed honey in a small bowl until evenly mixed. Mixture should clump together when pressed but crumble apart easily. Press evenly into the bottom of a 9” springform pan. Bake on the middle rack of the oven for 10-12 minutes, until set. Set aside to cool. Turn oven down to 300 degrees.

Cream the cream cheese with a stand mixer. Add custard ingredients one at a time. Mix well after each addition and scrape the bowl and paddle in between additions. Mix on medium. Avoid putting too much air into the batter. Mix thoroughly, but no longer or faster than necessary.

Taking care not to crack the crust, wrap one large piece of foil on the outside bottom and sides of the springform pan. Lightly oil the inside wall of the pan with cooking spray or vegetable oil. Pour the batter onto the crust and smooth the top. Place the foil-wrapped pan into a larger roasting pan. Pour hot tap water into the larger pan to about half way up the sides of the cheesecake. Place in the center of the 300-degree oven. Bake for 60 minutes without opening the door. Turn the oven off and leave the cheesecake in the oven for 50-60 minutes. Remove the springform pan from the water bath and foil wrapping. Let cool on a wire rack for 1-2 hours. Gently place plastic wrap directly on top of the custard and refrigerate overnight.

Prepare the Sauce: Combine rhubarb, strawberries and sugar in a small saucepan. Stir occasionally over medium heat for 10-15 minutes until slightly thickened, but still pourable. Remove from heat and cool. Can be made up to 2 days ahead and stored in the refrigerator.

Prepare the Streusel: Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper, a silicone baking mat, or a light coating of cooking oil. Combine flour, brown sugar and salt. Make sure clumps of brown sugar are broken up by sifting through the mixture with your fingers. Add butter and work into flour mixture with your fingers or a fork until evenly moistened. It should clump together when pressed and fall apart into smaller clumps when crumbled. Sprinkle clumps onto prepared cookie sheet. Bake in preheated oven for 10-12 minutes, until just turning golden or lightly browned on the edges. Cool completely then loosen from the pan with a spatula and break up into desired size crumble topping. Can be made up to 2 days ahead and stored in an air tight container at room temperature.

Assemble: Slowly and carefully remove the cheesecake from the springform pan. Loosen and remove the ring. If you see any sticking, use a small paring knife to detach the batter from the pan in those spots. Run a spatula between the cake and the pan’s bottom circle then slide the cake onto a cake platter. Smooth any messy spots with a hot, dry icing spatula or knife. Spread the strawberry rhubarb sauce over the top until it just drizzles over the edges a little bit. The cake can be refrigerated like this for several hours. Just before serving, sprinkle the streusel chunks over the top.