I’ve always loved cheesecake but never the kind that you get at one of those dessert shops. I always found those cheesecakes to be far too heavy and I could barely eat half of a slice without feeling completely weighed down.
My mom’s cheesecake was made first from dry cottage cheese curd and most recently with ricotta and that was because it was always hard to match up the kind of cheese that was back home to what was available in Canada. I’ll give you both options and you can decide which to use.
The pastry that goes beneath the cake is one that was a standard while I was growing up. It’s the dough that was often spread on a huge baking pan and then covered in fresh plums or apricots, or raspberries and rhubarb and topped with crumble. Whatever fruit was in abundance was the one that was the star of the oddly shaped pie. These “pies” would be made on the weekend and it was a snack all week long. We didn’t really have dessert, after a meal but we always had something freshly baked in the house.
This same crust I’ve always found melts wonderfully into the cheesecake filling and it actually reminds me more of the Jewish cheese pie than a North American cheesecake but you can decide for yourself.
- 2 eggs
- ½ C sugar
- ¼ lb butter (preferably unsalted)
- 1 ¼ teaspoons baking powder
- 1 ¼ C flour
- Splash of vanilla
Mix all ingredients together and work it into dough. You do not have to grease or flour the pan, just press the dough down into the pan and up a partway onto the sides. Await filling!
- 500 grams (I package ricotta) OR dry curd cottage cheese
- 2/3 Cup Sugar
- 2 egg yolks
- 1 package of vanilla pudding
- 1/2 Cup grated white chocolate
*Do not use SWEETENED pudding this needs to be the kind that requires cooking. Jello brand does not work here, it doesn’t dissolve properly and it’s far too sweet. Dr. Oetker brand works well here.
Whisk all ingredients together and if you are using the dry cottage cheese curd then use your food processor or blender to break up the curd. It should be fairly smooth.
Pour filling into the crust and bake at 350 until done. 🙂 Yes… I know that ‘until it’s done’ isn’t really a time frame, but it all depends on what shape of pie and how deep the filling it… at any rate it should be golden on top and a toothpick should come out clean. I’d say after 20 minutes or so you should just check on it every 10 minutes. Or you can use my mom’s method, it’s done when you can smell it throughout the house 😉
The one I made in the picture was a little too deep and so it took much longer to bake, I wouldn’t recommend this because then it takes too long for the crust. Also, I had a brain fart when I was making it. I didn’t have the pudding I noted, in bold, up above and I used regular Jello pudding that required cooking without cutting out the extra sugar and it was horrifically sweet and a little grainy. Not at all like I know this cheesecake to be. But I suppose you live and learn.
Lastly, on the one you see in the pictures, I covered it in caramel sauce that I had handy (can of condensed milk that was boiled for 2-3 hours) found here in a pervious post and then used shaved white chocolate and raspberries to make it look nice.
Like I said, using the sweetened pudding AND the caramel sauce and the white chocolate made it way too sweet. But it did look pretty and everyone ate it. I think next time I’ll just go back to the basics!