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Food
Dry cottage cheese whips up a knockout cheesecake

Thursday, March 20, 2003

Compiled by Arlene Burnett

The key ingredient in today's recipe for Dessert Cheesecake is dry cottage cheese. Yes, you read it right: dry cottage cheese. Dry cottage cheese is cottage cheese without milk or cream. You'll find it in most large grocery stores or specialty food shops. We found ours at a Giant Eagle, nestled between the more well-known cottage cheeses. We've been using dry cottage cheese for our potato-cheese pierogies for years, but that's all we used it for. It's nice to know it has another purpose, and a delicious one at that.

The crust for this recipe is made with sugar, cinnamon, butter and zwieback. Zwieback (German for twice baked) can be found in the baby food aisle. What if you can't find zwieback? Use any traditional crust ingredient, such as vanilla wafers or graham crackers. The filling is made with eggs, lemon juice, cream, flour and the dry cottage cheese. Since there's not a drop of moisture to the cottage cheese you must press it through a sieve to crumble the curds into tinier pieces. The cheesecake is baked for one hour. When the cheesecake is done, the oven is turned off and the cheesecake sits in the oven for another hour.

Dessert Cheesecake has a crumbly consistency, sort of cake-like but not as dry, exactly what D. Kochin of Heidelberg requested. We would make this cheesecake again, but when we do, we'll either do a better job with the sieve or we'll give the filling a few whirls in a blender or food processor to rid it of chunks of dry cottage cheese. Kitchen Mailbox thanks Evelyn Wanamaker of West Middlesex, Mercer County, for turning us on to a new version of cheesecake.

Dessert Cheesecake

    Crust:
  • 2 cups zwieback, crushed fine, divided
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup melted butter or margarine

    Filling:

  • 4 eggs
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1/8 teaspoon sal
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup light cream
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 3 cups dry cottage cheese
  • 2 teaspoons lemon zest

    Topping:

  • 1/4 cup chopped walnuts

For the crust: Combine crumbs, 1/2 cup sugar, cinnamon and butter. (Reserve 3/4 cup of crumb mixture for topping.) Press remainder of crumb mixture into bottom and up sides of a 9-inch springform pan.

For the filling: Beat eggs until thick and lemon colored. Combine the flour, salt and sugar, add to the egg mixture, then add cream, and mix thoroughly. Add the lemon juice. Rub the cottage cheese through a sieve, add to the egg mixture and beat well. Add lemon zest, stir well.

Pour into pan. Sprinkle cheesecake with reserved crumb mixture and walnuts. Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour. Turn off oven, open door a crack and let cool in oven 1 hour. Chill. Serves 10-12.

Requests

dot.gif "I wonder if anyone would have the recipe for yeast rolls with a dry cottage cheese filling that was in a Kay's Kitchen column years ago in the Pittsburgh Sun-Telegraph? I always made them at Easter but I lost the recipe," writes Mary Lou Yurick of Latrobe.

dot.gif Bridget McKewan of Cecil Township writes: "I never heard of wedding soup until I moved to Pittsburgh. Some places serve it using a clear chicken broth, others serve it with a very green spinach broth. My family likes the clear broth the best -- our favorite is the wedding soup served at the Olive Garden. Do you or your readers have the recipe?"

Letter

"Although my request is not for a recipe, it is for information related to baking so I though you or your readers might be able to help. I have a favorite Christmas cookie recipe that requires gingerbread to be cut into a specific shape. It is necessary to cut two for each cookie, and since I have to do this by hand, it is most time-consuming.

"Does anyone know of a company or local craftsman who makes cookie cutters? The shape is not too complicated but I have never found a cookie cutter that was the right size or shape.

"The cookies are called Ginger Bears and are in the shape of a bear's head, approximately 2 1/2 inches in diameter."

Sharon Russell,
Cranberry


If you want to answer a recipe request from a reader or are looking for a recipe yourself, please write to Kitchen Mailbox, c/o Arlene Burnett, 34 Blvd. of the Allies, Pittsburgh 15222, or e-mail to aburnett@post-gazette.com . Please include a name, neighborhood/city/borough/township and state, and a daytime phone number on all correspondence.

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