Where were you when you had your first horchata? I remember my first time very specifically. I was at Mexican restaurant with my husband in San Marcos, California. He, a horchata connoisseur, proudly introduced me to my first creamy sips. My mom used to give us kids bowls of white rice with milk and cinnamon, for a treat, and this horchata took me back to those days! If you’ve been living under a rock, like I was for so many years, and you’ve never heard of/sipped on horchata, I recommend that you put it on your bucket list. If you have had this milky treat, then the thought of transforming it into a cheesecake just sounds like magic, and believe me, it is! Did I mention that this is a “no bake” recipe?! yeah, you really can’t go wrong here.
You can use a graham cracker crust, but I have a nice little Mexican grocer that sells the Maria cookies. I tossed them in the blender to get a nice crumby texture then added sugar, cinnamon and melted butter. Press that into a pan and bake till golden.
In the meantime, cut a large square of cheesecloth make a bundle with the crushed cinnamon stick and vanilla bean.
Drop the spice bundle into a pot with the cream, milk and rice. Let it come to a simmer, then cover and cook till the rice is tender.
Once the rice is tender, pour the mixture over a sieve to separate the rice from the base. While the milk base is hot, add the cream cheese and mix till smooth. Then stir in the bloomed gelatin and 2 cups of the reserved rice.
Pour over a cooled crust and chill in the refrigerator for 3 hours, or overnight, before slicing.
Serve with a sprinkle of ground cinnamon and a nice drizzle of agave syrup!
Maria Cookie Crust
- 1 1/2 cups ground Maria cookies
- 5 tbsp melted butter
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/8 tsp salt
“If you can’t find Maria’s cookies, graham crackers will do nicely!”
- Preheat an oven to 350 degrees. Stir the grounds cookies with the sugar, cinnamon and salt. Than pour in the melted butter, and stir to combine.
- Press into the bottom of a springform pan and bake for 12 minutes or till the edges are golden.
Horchata Cheesecake Filling
- 4, 6 in. mexican cinnamon sticks
- 2 vanilla beans
- 4 cups heavy cream
- 4 cups whole milk
- 1 cup basmati rice
- pinch of salt
- 1/4 cup water
- 1 package + 1 1/8 tsp gelatin
- 1 cup sugar
- 16 oz cream cheese, softened
“I added a 1/2 tsp of ground cinnamon also, just to kick the flavor up!”
- Crush the cinnamon sticks, and split the vanilla beans lengthwise. Then tie them into a bundle with cheesecloth.
- Pour the cream, milk, rice, and salt into a saucepan with the spice bundle and bring it to a simmer. Cover and allow to cook over low heat for about 15 minutes or till the rice is tender.
- In the meantime, stir the gelatin and the water together in a separate bowl and set aside to bloom.
- Once the rice is cooked, stir in the sugar. Then pour the mixture into a bowl, over a sieve to separate the rice. Reserve 2 cups of the rice.
- Add the cream cheese to the milk mixture and combine. (Add the extra ground cinnamon!)
- Take 1 cup of the cream cheese mixture and add it to the bowl with the gelatin. Stir till combined then add it back to the rest of the cream cheese mixture and stir well.
- Add in the reserved rice and then pour over the cooled crust. Refrigerate for at least 3 hours before slicing.
- Serve with a sprinkle of ground cinnamon and agave syrup drizzled on top.