Cheesecake Three Ways
July 25th, 2010 by

Ricotta Cheesecake with Local Strawberries,  Pistachio Crumble and Key Lime Ice Cream

For those of you who read this blog regularly you may have noticed that there is rarely a week where everything goes as planned. This week was of course no different.

This week I wasn’t supposed to be designing a Sunday supper. We have a rhubarb cobbler on our menu and since rhubarb is a late spring/early summer fruit, it is time to get it off the menu. However, it is a lovely light summery dessert so at the end of the season we bought two cases which was as much rhubarb as we thought we could process and sell before it went bad.   Since, this made a finite amount of compote, it was clearly time for my boss to start working on something to replace it.  Therefore, this week she came up with a strawberry cheesecake dish that she wanted to use for Sunday supper as a dry run. She wanted to make my life as simple as possible, so she made all of the components the day before and the only thing I was supposed to have to do was make one more batch of the cheesecakes because we didn’t have enough molds to do them all at once.  When I walked in for work two hours before this dessert needed to be done, I was told that instead of doing the normal 24 special dinners, the sous chef wanted to make 30 because we had had a very busy Saturday night, and we were low on a lot of our regular menu items. This would mean making two batches of cheesecake for which I had neither the time or enough ricotta. So, I changed things… a lot. The dessert that she had planned looked almost nothing like this but had similar flavors and concept.

The square piece at the back with the cone on top is what is left of the cheesecake. I baked another batch and then cut them each twice with a square cutter. This sits on top of a pistachio crumble which was part of the original design though my boss had it on top of her cheesecake. I topped this with a piped cone of no bake cream cheese cheese cake ( blended cream cheese, sugar, a little heavy cream and some lemon juice) because I was worried there wasn’t enough cheesecake after I cut them down so far. The other section of the dessert is buttons of key lime ice cream sitting on the scraps of the cheesecakes that I had cut and then put in the dehydrator for a few hours. The dried cheesecake was crispy on the outside and still a little creamy on the inside. This is topped with some cubes of fresh strawberries. The plate is finished with a spear of pulled sugar and a sauce made of pureed strawberries and Thai basil.

After all that scrambling to have 30 plates, we only ended up selling 17 of the tasting menus; but I think that the plate turned out looking nice and that it was not too similar to a generic New York  Style Cheesecake with Strawberry Topping.

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