Here’s another recipe my Oma used to make when I was younger. Once we started going out before Christmas and loading up on food to cover us for the holiday season, I started buying the cheesecakes that they sold at the German market. My Oma never gave me a recipe for this, but I’ve always wanted to make it. So I had to find some recipes and make a few changes to suit my need and desire to make the cheesecakes smaller (6″).
My older son will eat an entire cheesecake before I even get a chance to have a piece. He loves his cheesecake – so does my husband. If there’s one thing I know my husband will eat, because he does not have a sweet tooth, is cheesecake. I’ve made 4 of these in the last couple of days. They’re all gone now.
To start off, the crust. This is not a graham cracker crust, it’s more of a pastry type crust. And it definitely gets a bad rap for being difficult to roll out. I’ve solved this problem, so the crust is absolutely easy to deal with.
First off, put your flour, sugar, vanilla sugar, baking powder, salt, and lemon zest in a bowl and toss in your softened butter. Using a pastry blender or a fork or two knives, mix this together.
Whisk an egg with 1 Tbsp. water, add this to the flour mixture and stir to make a shaggy mess. Then get in there with your hands, and knead the dough until it comes together, about 1 to 1 1/2 minutes.
Divide the dough evenly into two portions (219 grams each – yes I weigh mine and I always get 219 grams for each disk) and shape portion into in a disk, place one disk on a piece of parchment paper, place another piece of parchment paper on top and using a rolling-pin, roll out the dough until it’s nice a thin (although I cannot tell you how thin exactly but you want it thin.
Then press up the sides of the pan, this does not have to be even around all sides, if you notice one section is really high and another is really low, simply tear a piece of the dough off and press it into another section. Right now, while the dough is soft this is extremely easy to do.
Once the hour has gone by, start making your filling. Separate 3 eggs, placing your whites in a large bowl to be whipped later and place the yolks into the bowl of your stand mixer.
Add in your sugar and vanilla sugar with the egg yolks and beat until light yellow in colour.
Add in the zest of the other half of your lemon, as well as the juice of half a lemon and your softened butter and a slightly heaped Tbsp. of corn starch. Beat this together until smooth. Scrape the bowl down and beat a little more.
Then add in your whipping cream and Quark. Beat this on speed 2 and continue to beat while you turn your attention to the egg whites. I let the mixer go while I whip the egg whites, with a pinch of salt, until they are stiff peaks.
Then turn your mixer off, scrape the bowl down and turn the mixer on for another 30 seconds. Remove the bowl from the mixer and scrape down the bowl again, trying to get everything off the beater, just ensure you don’t get any lumps in your now smooth cheesecake batter.
Dump your whipped egg whites on top of your cheesecake batter and fold together until your egg whites are combined. I tend to do this as quickly as possible, to ensure I don’t lose too much volume that I’ve just beaten into the egg whites.
Then divide the filling between the two pans, and then place in the oven and bake for anywhere from 1 hour to 1 hour and 15 minutes. You want the top to get golden brown. It will still be quite wobbly in the centre and be quite puffed up.
Remove from the oven and place on a cooling rack. Don’t be upset, the cheesecakes are going to fall – this is supposed to happen. Once the cakes have been out of the oven for about 30 minutes, and you can place your hand on the side of the pan without it burning the crap out of you, remove the ring part of the springform pan. I used my cheesecake pans, so I carefully placed the pan on a glass that was smaller than the opening at the bottom and carefully pulled the outer pan down away from the cake. Then place your cakes bake on the cooling rack for at least another hour to cool. Once cooled, carefully remove the bottom of the pans from the cheesecakes and place the cheesecakes on either your serving plate or cardboard circle and place in the fridge over night.
These cheesecakes need to chill out over night in the fridge. This is a lot lighter of a cheesecake than the typical cheesecake made with cream cheese. It’s very much souffle like in the way it’s made. And the Quark definitely gives it a distinct taste.
If you cannot find Quark, I have read that you can substitute cottage cheese, but I would not recommend that. If you cannot find Quark, try straining yogurt to make it super thick and cheese-like. Use that, as Quark is a yogurt-like cheese.
**Update: I have started making my own Quark, which is perfect for this recipe. Just look on the blog for it.
Kasekuchen (German Baked Cheesecake)
Makes 2 – 6″ cheesecakes
1 1/2 cups flour
1/4 cup sugar
1 pkg. vanilla sugar
pinch of salt
Zest of half a lemon
1 tsp. baking powder
6 Tbsp. softened butter
1 large egg
1 Tbsp. water
3 egg yolks
3/4 cup sugar
1 pkg. vanilla sugar
6 Tbsp. softened butter
3/4 cup whipping cream (heavy cream)
500 gr. Quark
1 slightly heaped Tbsp. corn starch
3 egg whites
pinch of salt
- In bowl combine flour, baking powder, salt, vanilla sugar, sugar and lemon zest. Cut in softened butter.
- Whisk egg with water and add to flour mixture. Stir to combine and then knead for about 1 to 1 1/2 minutes until you get a nice dough.
- Divide dough into equal portions.
- Between two sheets of parchment paper, place on disk of dough and roll out into a thin “circle”. Repeat with the second disk of dough.
- Lightly grease your two pans (either springform or cheesecake pans with a false bottom).
- Fold one piece of dough in half and then in half again, carefully lift into one pan and unfold and press on bottom and up the sides of the pan. Repeat with the second piece of dough and pan.
- Place dough lined pans in the fridge to chill for one hour.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Beat the egg yolks with the sugar and vanilla sugar until pale yellow. Add the softened butter, corn starch, lemon zest and lemon juice, beat well. Add in the whipping cream and Quark and mix on low-speed until smooth. Scrape down bowl frequently.
- In a separate bowl, whisk the egg whites and pinch of salt until stiff peaks are reached. Then fold in the egg whites into the cheesecake batter.
- Divide the batter evenly between the two pans, place in the preheated oven and bake for 1 hour to 1 hour and 15 minutes.
- Allow to cool on a cooling rack for 30 minutes, then remove the sides of your pan and allow to cool for another hour, then remove the bottom of the pan and place on your serving plate and put in the fridge over night.