Black Pepper Cheesecake, Rhubarb-Apple Confiture, and Celery Leaf Gelée and Sorbet

Adapted by
November 2011


Red Celery-Rhubarb Sorbet: (Yield: 2 Quarts)
450 grams red celery juice*
250 grams sugar
110 grams glucose powder
8 grams pectin powder
1 kilogram rhubarb purée
Black Pepper Cheesecake: (Yield: 12 Servings)
1½ pounds softened cream cheese
2/3 cup superfine sugar
3 cups crème fraîche
3 whole eggs
1 ounce melted unsalted butter
1½ tablespoons spiced rum
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
¼ teaspoon sea salt
1 tablespoon hand cracked pepper
Cookie Base: (Yield: 12 Servings)
500 grams light muscovado sugar
500 grams farro flour
150 grams bran meal
150 grams graham crackers crumbs
375 toasted almond meal
500 grams brown butter
2 eggs
1 egg yolk
1 scraped vanilla bean, seeds only, pod reserved
Red Celery Gelée: (Yield: 1¼ Sheet Trays)
500 grams celery leaf juice
80 grams apple juice
80 grams sugar
5 grams gelatin sheets
½ cup chilled water
Rhubarb-Celery Confiture: (Yield: 680 grams)
380 grams peeled young rhubarb
300 grams Liberty apples, peeled and cored
150 grams sugar
1 small pinch sea salt
Juice of ½ lemon
To Assemble and Serve
apple chips
Tart apples, peeled, cored, and julienned
Red celery leaves
Fresh Origins micro celery


For the Red Celery-Rhubarb Sorbet:
Whisk the sugar, glucose powder, and pectin together. Warm the rhubarb purée to 170°F, add the sugar mixture, and heat to dissolve over medium heat. When the sugar mixture dissolves, strain and combine with the celery juice. Ice down the sorbet base and chill for 24 hours. Process the sorbet base in a gelato machine according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

For the Black Pepper Cheesecake:
Preheat the oven to 325°F. Cream the cream cheese and sugar in a stand mixer fitted with a whisk until light and homogenous. Add the crème fraîche and mix to combine. Add the eggs, one at a time. Slowly add the butter, rum, lemon juice, and vanilla extract and mix until just combined. Season with the salt and pepper. Transfer the mixture to piping bags and fill 4-ounce silicone molds three-quarters of the way full. Bake in a covered water bath for 25 minutes. Remove from the oven, pour the water off, let the cheesecakes cool, and transfer the molds to the freezer. Chill for a minimum of 2 hours or blast chill.

For the Cookie Base:
Whisk the sugar, farro flour, bran meal, graham cracker crumbs, and almond meal to combine. Add the butter to combine, and add the eggs, egg yolk, and vanilla seeds. Mix until just combined. Chill for 20 minutes. Preheat the oven to 325°F. Roll the dough out between 2 sheets of parchment paper until the dough is ¼-inch thick. Cut rounds out of the dough to fit the mold shape used on the cheesecakes. Bake the cookies on a sheet tray for 12 minutes in the oven. When the cookies have cooled, unmold the Black Pepper Cheesecakes onto the Cookie Bases and chill.

For the Red Celery Gelée:
Heat one-third of the celery leaf juice and one-third of the apple juice with the sugar. Heat to just dissolve. Bloom the gelatin sheets in the chilled water. Gently squeeze the gelatin sheets to remove the liquid. Remove the juice from the heat and add the gelatin. Stir to dissolve the gelatin. Strain through a fine-meshed strainer. Add the rest of the celery leaf juice and apple juice. Pour the mixture into clean quarter sheet trays and chill until set. Cut and portion into small cubes. Reserve.

For the Rhubarb-Celery Confiture:
Toss the rhubarb and apples in a bowl with sugar and salt to completely coat. Transfer the mixture to a copper pot. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring frequently to dissolve the sugar and quickly cook the fruit. When fruit is just cooked but not broken down, add the lemon juice and ice down. Cover the mixture with parchment to adhere like a skin.

To Assemble and Serve:
Put a pastry ring in the center of a large shallow bowl to mimic the size of the Black Pepper Cheesecake and Cookie Base. Insert 1 heaping tablespoon of the Rhubarb-Celery Confiture in the ring and use a spoon to flatten it to create an even base. Remove the pastry ring, and put the finished Black Pepper Cheesecake on top. Put a small apple chip in center as a base for the Sorbet. Quenelle a demitasse spoonful of the Red Celery-Rhubarb Sorbet. Finish the plating with 3 to 5 pieces small cubes of the Celery Gelée resting on one side of the Cheesecake, playfully stacked. Garnish with the tart apples and red celery leaves. Garnish with micro celery.

* Use a champion juicer or a high grade juicer to extract celery juice. Strain the juice through a fine-meshed chinois and reserve in an ice bath.