Käsekuchen or German Cheesecake

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It’s just so wonderful when you wake up, open the fridge and have exactly the right amount of eggs and lemons to do what you woke up thinking about (definitely not that I have been buying it unconsciously). So my husband and I spent a while in Germany, a country so great for so many things, but what we enjoyed and learned the most about was, of course, food (and maybe a couple of words to survive and beer, let’s never forget beer). Pies and cakes are the deal in Germany, not only the portions are humongous, but they are so so good, and my favorite one was by far the Cheesecake.

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This recipe I found in Germany is really good, maybe not as good as my favorite one in Café Hindenburg, Speyer, but pretty close.

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Use lemons that are fresh and flavorful and don’t use too many eggs (or too big), unless you like that mousse-like texture.

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Maybe it takes a while to get it all together but after all the baking, take a book, your favorite cup of tea and you’ll have the afternoon of your life, word.

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Kaesekuchen

  • Servings: 8-10
  • Time: about 2 hours
  • Difficulty: medium
  • Print

Ingredients
For the crust:
2 cups of flour
1 stick unsalted butter, cubed
3 tbsp sugar
1 large egg
pinch of salt

For the filling:
6 oz. ricotta cheese, drained for at least 2 hours
2 cups Quark or cream cheese
1/2 cup sour cream
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup + 2 tbsp sugar
1 stick unsalted melted butter
4 medium eggs or 3 large
1/4 cup cornstarch
zest of 1 lemon

Instructions
1. Drain the ricotta cheese in a fine sieve over (or a cheese cloth) a bowl for at least 2 hours in the fridge. Sift the flour onto a clean surface forming a volcano. Add the butter, sugar (I like brown sugar for the crust and white for the filling), salt and egg, and knead with your hands to form a smooth dough. Shape dough into a ball, wrap in plastic and put it in the fridge for 30 min to an hour.
2. Butter a 9in spring form pan or tart and preheat oven to 350 ºF: place rack on the second level from the bottom.
3. In a bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix the ricotta, cream cheese and sour cream until smooth. Add the vanilla, eggs, melted butter, sugar, cornstarch and lemon zest and beat until well blended at medium speed.
4. Roll out the crust over a slightly floured surface and transfer over the spring-form pan or tart pan. I usually roll the crust over the rolling pin and unroll it over the pan, it’s easier to transfer. Adjust crust to pan and prick it with a fork. Pour in mixture and place on the rack. Bake for 50 min to an hour, or until a toothpick comes out clean.

The cake may raise a lot and even crack the surface, but once out of the oven let it rest for a while and it will go back to normal. When at room temperature, put it for a while in the fridge, I really think it tastes way better cold. You can serve with jams or red fruits, but it will also be delicious on its own. Enjoy!

PS: I have also tried this recipe gluten-free with a tapioca, potato, hazelnut flour and it tastes just as good!

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