It used to be that every year, when Lag B’Omer approaches and Shavuot is just around the corner, the anxiety of whether or not I should attempt to make a cheesecake comes in.
I somehow, not confident enough to try, always ended up going for a regular dairy cake, similar to cheesecake with a crumb crust, but settled for a vanilla-pudding and cream based, 5-minute frosting. Of course it was always a good cake, and I still make it for other occasions, but last year I decided once and for all…”this is the year!”… and went to the ever so trusty book I received as a wedding present called “Spice and Spirit. The Complete Kosher Jewish Cookbook”.
The cookbook is EXACTLY what the title says…”Complete“. It truly has every recipe and explanation imaginable and gets you down to the basics of all Ashkenazi Jewish food. Stuffed cabbage, kugels, challot, and hundreds of meat and dairy dishes, and desserts. Every holiday, every occasion.
I decided the best place to start this journey was with their “Basic Cheesecake” while swapping in my own crust recipe (mainly because I use Petit Beurres and not Graham Crackers) . It came out beautiful, delicious, sturdy…like a good, old friend that I have’t met in a long time and I couldn’t believe it was so long since we have reconnected.
I will definitely be making it again this year.
It looks like a lot of steps, but I promise you it is really easy.
*I have translated the recipe to metrics and Israeli size containers for local ease.
What you need for the crust:
9 x 13 inch springform pan
200 g of Petit Beurres or any simple biscuit
1 tbsp honey
80 g butter (melted)
Few drops of vanilla extract
2 tbsp ground walnuts or almonds (Optional)
What you need for the filling:
450 grams cream cheese (The small Israeli cream cheese containers are 225 grams.)
340 grams cottage cheese. I use 9%. (Israeli cottage cheese containers are 250 grams).
1.25 cups sour cream
3/4 cup milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
1.5 cups sugar
1/4 tsp salt
2.5 tbsp cornstarch/potato flour
Preheat the oven to 350°F or 180°C.
- In a food processor grind the cookies until you get a nice powder.
- Add melted butter, honey, vanilla extract, and walnuts/almonds (optional). Mix again just until combined.
- Butter generously the bottom and sides of your springform pan. Press the dough evenly on the bottom of the pan.
- Refrigerate until you prepare the filling.
- Beat cream cheese and cottage cheese together until smooth.
- Add eggs and beat until blended.
- Combine sugar, salt, and cornstarch with cheese mixture.
- Add sour cream, milk and vanilla.
- Blend well and pour filling slowly onto crust.
- Bake for one hour.
- Turn oven off and allow the cake to cool in the oven for about 1 hour.
- Once cooled, transfer to fridge and serve chilled with a lot of love.
Enjoy and let me know how a your cheesecake comes out.
Preferably with a picture!