There are no excuses this Mother’s Day for not making mum a delicious pud. Tony Staples, executive head chef of The Grill, based at the Arora Hotel, Crawley, has the easiest recipe for cheesecake ever – it is so simple, it is almost child’s play.
“This Mothering Sunday, my son, Alfie, and I will be in the kitchen making a rhubarb cheesecake – one of my wife’s favourites.
He is only three and a half, but is already capable of chopping and peeling, so I thought he would enjoy bashing the biscuits for the base and mixing the topping. It is a deceptively simple recipe that is so delicious I have put it on our menu here at The Grill.
It is also extremely adaptable depending on the seasons, and your mood. If you want ginger biscuits in the base instead of digestives, then go ahead.
In the past, I have even used chocolate bourbons or custard creams, - the creamy biscuit centre makes a softer cheesecake base. Or try adding a thin layer of your favourite jelly to give a professional, mirror-like sheen to the top and serving the fruit on the side.
For this recipe, I have used forced rhubarb as it is just coming in to season, but you can have any topping you like. Or, I should say, any topping Mum likes, as it is her special day after all.”
Don’t want to cook for mum? Then, enjoy a three-course Mother’s Day carvery lunch at The Grill for £25 per head (under 12s, £12.50pp) To book call 01293 530000
500g Philadelphia full fat soft cheese
200g caster sugar
1 vanilla pod
1 tablespoon finely chopped pistachios
3 sticks of rhubarb
100g caster sugar
Method: Place the biscuits in a large food bag and crush using a rolling pin.
Gently melt the butter in a small saucepan and add the crushed biscuits and chopped pistachios.
Spread over the bottom of an 18cm square loose bottomed cake tin, or similar sized tin. Press down firmly and leave to set – this takes about an hour in the fridge or about 10 minutes in the freezer.
In a mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese until soft and then work in the sugar and the seeds scraped from the vanilla pod. Spoon over the biscuit base and smooth the top. Chill.
Cut the rhubarb sticks into 4cm pieces and place on a baking tray lined with greaseproof paper. Sprinkle with sugar and bake in a preheated oven,140oC, for about 5 minutes until rhubarb softens but holds its shape and the sugar has turned to a syrup.
Leave to cool then decorate the top of the cheesecake with the rhubarb and drizzle over the syrup. Chill until ready to serve.