Omi’s German Cheesecake

April 14, 2013 § 6 Comments

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I was either very young or a teenager when my grandmother would visit from her native Germany. Things like cooking and baking didn’t interest me then but eating the delicious meals she would prepare did. It seems like Omi was always in the kitchen mixing and stirring something. Every night was a feast, not just on Sundays. And cakes, kuchen, even homemade jelly doughnuts were always on the kitchen counter.  All made from scratch of course and never a recipe, written down at least.

One dessert that stuck in my mind as I grew up was this cheesecake. In Germany it is made with quark, a type of soft, fresh cheese with a mild, slightly tangy flavor. Back then (I’m talking way back) you couldn’t find it in the supermarkets so my grandmother would substitute cottage cheese. Now it’s available everywhere but I still use cottage cheese, I wouldn’t dream of changing it.

The recipe I have is written on an old card, yellowed and stained. It’s in my writing so I must have written it while watching my mother make this years later. It brings back nice memories of Omi in the kitchen with her apron on, wooden spoon in hand. How I wish she were still here so I could sit on the kitchen counter  again and watch her cook.

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Ingredients for crust:

1 1/2 cup flour, I use white spelt

1/4 cup sugar

1/2 cup cold unsalted butter

1 egg, beaten with fork

Mix together flour, sugar. Cut the butter into small pieces and add this and egg to flour mixture. Mix together with your hands until combined, knead a few minutes then form into a ball. Add a few tablespoons of water if necessary. Wrap in plastic and chill about an hour.

Roll out dough 1/8 ” thick and put into a 9″ pie dish. Chill another hour while you make the filling.

Ingredients for filling:

2 eggs, beaten with fork

1/2 cup sugar

1/2 cup golden raisins

1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted

1 1/2 TBL flour

grated peel from 1 organic lemon

1/2 tsp vanilla

1 pound cottage cheese

1 cup sour cream

slivered almonds

 

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Puree the cottage cheese in a blender until smooth. Put into a large bowl and add the sour cream, eggs, sugar, raisins, melted butter, flour, lemon peel and vanilla. Whisk all together until smooth.

Pour into the chilled crust, sprinkle with some slivered almonds and bake about 1 hour until toothpick inserted in middle comes out clean.

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