German Cheesecake

The Ginger Cheesecake Recipe The use of quark here is typical of German cooking. If you cannot find any, substitute it with low-fat cottage cheese puréed until smooth.

Chilling time:
30 mins

Special equipment:
9in (22cm) springform cake pan,
ideally 11⁄2in (4cm) deep
food processor with blade attachment
baking beans (optional)

1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
¼ cup sugar
11 tbsp unsalted butter, diced
1 large egg yolk, at room temperature

For the filling:
1lb 10oz (750g) quark, or fat-free cottage cheese
processed until smooth
1/2 cup sugar
4 large eggs, at room temperature, separated
finely grated zest and juice of 1 lemon
2 tsp pure vanilla extract

1 Preheat the oven to 350‹F (180‹C).

Line the bottom of the pan with parchment paper. To make the pastry, combine the flour, sugar, and butter in a food processor until they form fine bread crumbs.

Add the egg yolk and 2 tablespoons of water and bring together to form a dough. If it is dry add water, 1 tbsp at a time.

Roll into a smooth ball, wrap in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 30 minutes to allow the pastry to relax.

Once the dough has rested, roll it out to about 1.4in (5mm) thick and line the cake pan with it.

The pastry should be large enough to hang over the edge. Place another disk of parchment paper inside the pastry and weigh it down with baking beans, or raw rice. Chill for 30 minutes to allow the pastry to rest.

Bake for 20 minutes, then remove the beans and paper and bake for another 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, blend the quark or processed cottage cheese, sugar, egg yolks, lemon zest and juice, and vanilla together until smooth.

In a separate bowl, whisk the egg whites to soft peaks. Fold the egg whites gently into the cream cheese mixture until thoroughly blended. Pour the filling into the baked pastry crust.

Bake for another 60–70 minutes. The cake is ready when golden brown and puffed up, often with a slight cracking of the surface.

Turn the oven off and, leaving the door open, let the cheesecake cool in the oven for at least 30 minutes before allowing it to cool fully at room temperature for 1 hour.

It will sink a little. Use a sharp knife to trim any excess pastry for an even finish. Serve slightly chilled or at room temperature, plain or with cream.

The pastry shell can be blind baked the day before and stored in an airtight container. The cheesecake can be stored in the refrigerator for 2 days, although the pastry will soften.

The whisked egg whites in this cheesecake make the filling puff up during baking. It always collapses down slightly as it cools, which can sometimes lead to a cracking of the surface of the cheesecake. Leaving it to cool in the oven helps prevent this.

Ginger Cheesecake
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