Monday, October 16, 2006

Cheesecake! Cheesecake! Cheesecake!

Any decent German person will laugh in your face if you suggest baking a cheesecake with cream cheese ("NOOH! Zat iss not how yu do zat!"). A "real" cheesecake has to be baked with Quark, and not much else. Quark is similar to the farmer's cheese or queso fresco that you can find here in some supermarkets; a drier, less fatty version of sour cream. I make Quark with my Quarkmaker *DUH* which is nothing but a glorified yogurt maker that you fill with buttermilk instead of regular milk and let stand for 16 hours. It'll heat the milk just enough that it slightly curdles over time. Afterwards you strain the still pretty liquid Quark through a cheesecloth for several hours. Repeat. About three days later, you will have a sufficient amount of Quark to bake a cheesecake. Or, and this is what I did, you just use plain yogurt and let it drain in the aforementioned cheesecloth (or just some paper towels) until it gets kind of firm. This would be called yogurt cheese (or YoChee, if you want to be cutesy). Here's our old family recipe for

No-Crust Cheesecake for Lazy People:
  • 125g (a bit less than a stick) butter/margarine,
  • 200g (a bit less than a cup) sugar,
  • 1 tsp vanilla,
  • 3 eggs,
  • 2 tblsp lemon juice *or more to taste*,
  • 1.5 tsp baking powder,
  • 1 pack vanilla pudding (now THAT is the tricky part. You'll want the cook-and-serve stuff with cornstarch in it. I use the German kind by Dr. Oetker which contains no sugar. If you want to try this with Jell-O, use less sugar and be prepared for anything!),
  • 2 tblsp semolina/farina,
  • 2 lbs Quark/yogurt cheese,
  • (1 handful raisins, washed, optional).
Mix everything (except the Quark) in a bowl with an electric mixer for at least 3 minutes. Add Quark, mix well. (Add raisins). Put into a greased springform pan and bake at 340 F for 50-60 mins. Cover with foil if it gets too dark. My cheesecakes usually get burnt but I kind of like them that way. Guten Appetit!

No comments: