HomeTechniquesStrawberry Rhubarb Cheesecake by Franck Labasse

Strawberry Rhubarb Cheesecake by Franck Labasse

Executive Pastry Chef
The Broadmoor Resort, Colorado Springs, CO

Once rhubarb is in season, I incorporate it into all my dessert menus. I love its vibrant color, fibrous texture and tangy flavor. In this recipe, rhubarb marries with strawberries in a compote and also balances the sweetness of a strawberry tuile, creating a full-bodied, yet refreshing, dessert.

Yield: 1 full frame cheesecake

Cheesecake Batter:

  • 1702 g cream cheese
  • 14 g all-purpose flour
  • 464 g granulated sugar
  • 106 g sour cream
  • 16 g lemon juice
  • 6 g vanilla beans, split and scraped
  • 2 g salt
  • 476 g whole eggs
  • 50 g egg yolks

1. In an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix the cream cheese (Photo #1) until soft, but do not whip (#2).

2. Mix the flour with the sugar and pour into the bowl while mixing. Add the sour cream, lemon juice and vanilla bean pulp. Scrape the bowl. Add the eggs and yolks in three additions, scraping after each addition. Mix until homogenous. (Do not whip!) 

Scoop using a grey scoop into rings already prepared with baked sable about 100g. Bake 35- 40 mins at 215º F until just set, do not allow to fully soufflé, just bake until set.

Vanilla Sablé Breton

  • 2000 g all-purpose flour
  • 8 g salt
  • 80 g baking powder
  • 1000 g unsalted butter
  • 400 g egg yolks
  • 800 g granulated sugar
  • 20 g vanilla paste

1. In the bowl of a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the flour, salt, baking powder and butter, mixing until sandy textured. 

2. In a bowl, whisk together the yolks (#3), sugar and vanilla until they are well mixed and have a slight body to them (#4). Add to the dry ingredients in the mixer bowl and mix until a dough forms (#5). Roll ¼ʺ (0.6 cm) thick (or no. 3 in the machine) and freeze until ready to use (#6).

3. Cut and bake at 350°F (177°C) until nicely golden brown. Stamp with the frame as soon as it comes out of the oven.

Strawberry Rhubarb Compote

  • 24 g pectin NH
  • 20 g vanilla paste
  • Finely grated zest of 4 lemons
  • 600 g granulated sugar
  • 800 g fresh rhubarb
  • 400 g fresh strawberries, diced

1. Mix the pectin, vanilla, zest and sugar together (#7).

2. Combine the rhubarb and strawberries in a pot (#8). Add the sugar mixture to coat (#9) and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until the strawberries and rhubarb are tender, about 10 minutes (#10).

Lemon Chantilly

  • 227 g egg yolks
  • 248 g granulated sugar
  • Finely grated zest of 1 lemon
  • 58 g fresh lemon juice
  • 170 g unsalted butter
  • 280 g whipped cream    

1. In a saucepan, combine the egg yolks, sugar, lemon zest and juice (#11) and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture pops a couple of times. Strain over the butter at 104°F (40°C) and mix with immersion blender (#12). Refrigerate until ready to use (you don’t need all the lemon curd for the Chantilly).

2. Fold the whipped cream into 80 grams of the lemon curd until fully mixed together (#13).

Vanilla Crumble

  • 300 g unsalted butter
  • 300 g brown sugar
  • 600 g all-purpose flour
  • 6 g vanilla paste
  • 20 g water

1. Mix all ingredients together until well mixed, then push through a grate. Freeze.

2. Bake at 350°F (177°C) for 8 minutes.

Italian Meringue

  • 500 g granulated sugar, plus a small handful
  • 125 g water
  • 250 g egg whites

1. Bring the sugar and water to 248°F (120°C) while whisking the whites in a mixer. Once the whites reach soft peaks, add a small handful of sugar and continue to whip. Once the sugar reaches 248°F (120°C), slowly add it to the whisking whites and finish whipping to stiff peaks.

2. Onto lined sheet pan, pipe with #4 tip in a crisscross manner. Bake 140°F (60°C) for 5 minutes. Dip ring mold in oil and cut meringue to shape. Return to oven until dry (#14).

Strawberry Tuiles

  • 200 g strawberry purée
  • 150 g confectioners’ sugar
  • 3 g xanthan gum
  • 2-3 drops red food coloring

1. Burrmix everything together. Spread onto lined sheet pan (#15, 16) and bake at 275°F (135°F) for about 15 minutes, or until dry to the touch.

Strawberry Coulis

  • 70 g Crystal Glaze
  • 150 g fresh strawberries

1. Purée ingredients together (#17).


  • Fresh strawberries, quartered

1. Just off-center on the plate, pipe 7 quarter-size rounds of Lemon Chantilly with a #807 round tip in 2 lines. Next, add a piece of Vanilla Crumble to the left side of each Lemon Chantilly round. Follow with a fresh quartered strawberry piece placed to the right side of each Lemon Chantilly round.

2. Cut the cheesecake into 3/4ʺ (2 cm) squares. Staggered in between the Chantilly rounds, add a piece of the cheesecake square and a meringue kiss.

3. Fill a cornet with Strawberry Coulis. For brightness and flavor, pipe 3 alternating dots within the now composed dessert element and pipe 8 more dots (#18) that gradually get smaller in an arch to the right of the composed line to add movement. Top with a Strawberry Tuile. Note: The key to plating this dessert is to make sure that it is not overcrowded when plated. Allowing space allows the textures, shapes, and flavors to shine through.

(This recipe appeared in the Summer 2023 issue of Pastry Arts Magazine)

Pastry Arts Magazine is the new resource for pastry & baking professionals designed to inspire, educate and connect the pastry community as an informational conduit spotlighting the trade.