1 vanilla pod, split lengthways
150g granulated sugar
100ml whipping cream
250g cream cheese
85g caster sugar
Juice of ½ lime
1½ trimmed rhubarb stalks, about 150g
50g pickled sliced ginger (from a jar)
85g shortbread biscuits
15g butter, melted
Small mint leaves
Scrape the seeds from one half of the vanilla pod and mix them with half of the granulated sugar in a bowl, using your fingers. Set aside. Pour the cream into a bowl. Scrape the seeds from the other half of the vanilla pod and add them to the cream. Whip lightly to soft peaks. In another bowl, whisk together the cream cheese, caster sugar and lime juice until smooth. Spoon in the whipped vanilla cream and fold together, using a spatula. Chill to firm up for about 30 minutes.
Cut the rhubarb into 8cm lengths and then into batons, about 5mm thick. Place in a bowl with the pickled ginger. Put the rest of the granulated sugar and 200ml water in a small pan and dissolve over a medium heat. Add the grenadine and bring to the boil. Pour over the rhubarb and ginger and let it steep for 10–15 minutes until the rhubarb is just tender but still holding its shape. Remove the ginger and rhubarb with a slotted spoon and dry on kitchen paper. Simmer the liquor for 8–10 minutes to reduce by two-thirds. Set aside.
Crush the shortbread in a plastic bag with a rolling pin to fine crumbs. Tip into a bowl and mix with the melted butter. Pat the rhubarb sticks dry with kitchen paper and roll them gently in the vanilla sugar to coat. Set aside on a plate.
Assemble the individual cheesecakes just before serving. Shape a quarter of the shortbread crust into a round on each plate and flatten gently with the bottom of a glass. Scoop the cheesecake mixture neatly on top. Crisscross the rhubarb batons on the cheesecake and scatter over some of the ginger pieces and the mint leaves. Drizzle rhubarb syrup around the plate and on the cheesecake. Serve at once, with the extra ginger on the side.
Take a look at Jason Atherton's chef profile here.