Monday, September 17, 2012

Oma's Baked Cheesecake

My Oma (Grandmother) was not renowned for her cooking.  Well in a way she was, but not a positive way.  I think it says a lot that my Mum's favourite meal as a child was boiled new potatoes served with parsley and butter.  However, my Oma was German and could therefore bake a good cake.  I have a theory that it is a genetic thing available to all German / Austrian people.

Recently my Mum found Oma's old handwritten recipe book.  Some of the recipes are in old German that Mum can't even read, but there are plenty she could including some 70's classic dinner party items, one of which will feature later this week.  My excitement on the discovery of the recipe book though was that it contained my Oma's cheesecake recipe.

I've never been a huge fan of the set cheesecake.  I find them overly sweet, too creamy and rich.  Needless to say S loves them.  Even most baked cheesecakes are too rich and sweet for me.  This cheesecake however is traditionally made with quark, a sour firm cheese.  It is available in Australia but according to those in the know (i.e. my Mum) doesn't taste the same, so the best substitute is farm cheese.  You do need to push it though a sieve to crumble it finely enough.

The resulting cheesecake isn't particularly sweet.  It has a slightly sweet/sour flavour, doesn't taste as fatty as a normal cheesecake and has a firm if slightly crumbly texture.  Needless to say I LOVE it.

Oma's Baked Cheesecake

750g farm cheese
200g butter
375g sugar
6 eggs separated
Juice and grated rind of 1 lemon
Packet vanilla sugar
Slivered or flaked almonds - amount to taste, I would use about 100g
3 - 4 tablespoons semolina

Preheat oven to 180oC.

Grease a springform pan and sprinkle with semolina. Line base with baking paper. (NOTE: if you want to make this gluten free you can leave out the semolina, I accidentally did, just really grease your pan well).
Push the farm cheese through a sieve so that it is finely crumbled.

Whip egg whites.

Cream butter and sugar, add egg yolks and some of the lemon juice. Beat until well incorporated. Add the rest of the juice, sieved farm cheese and vanilla sugar. Finally fold in the whipped egg whites and slivered almonds.

Pour mixture into pan and bake for approximately 70 minutes.

It will still be quite jiggly when you take it out of the oven.  As soon as you take the cake out of the oven carefully remove the outside of the pan. This allows the cake to settle uniformly.

Remove the cake from the base when it is completely cooled.  Serve with whipped cream.


  1. I'm not normally a cheesecake fan either, for the same reasons. I did once try a traditional cheesecake (hmm not sure where it was from, what traditional recipe??!!! whoops) and it was delicious. This looks divine. How special :)
    Heidi xo

    1. It really is worth trying Heidi. At last a cheesecake that doesn't leave that heavy bloated feeling in the stomach.

  2. Ohhhhh! This looks perfect!! A really, really, dense tangy baked cheesecake is the one dairy-y dessert I crave in all my lactardness. This looks amazing, and with such a lovely story behind it :)

    1. I've been wanting to make this for years! It was so exciting to get the recipe.