Wednesday, March 27, 2013

This Week's Recipe--My Grandmothers Refrigerator Cheesecake.

Pauline Haydak in the 1930's
My Grandmother, Pauline Haydak was a good cook and baker.  She made traditional Ukrainian foods, but did not just make traditional recipes.  This recipe was one of my favorites.  I found an old recipe card, written out by my mother, and later found this recipe in a booklet published by the St Michael's Women's Auxiliary.  St Michael's Ukrainian Orthodox Church held an Easter egg sale and demonstration every spring.


REFRIGERATOR CHEESE CAKE

Use a  9x12 inch rectangular glass pan.  Serves12

Crust:
16 plain Zwieback Toasts.  (These were made for babies and were sold with the baby food in the grocery story)  Graham crackers can be substituted.
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/8 cup melted unsalted butter
zest of one lemon

1. Crush the toast until fine.  (My grandmother crushed it with a rolling pin.  A food processor work will do the job)
2.  Add the sugar, cinnamon and lemon zest to the crushed toast
3.  Add the melted butter and combine until crumbly.
4.  Reserve 1/2 cup of the mixture for the topping.
5.  pat the mixture into a glass pan.

Cheese Filling
2 packages unflavored gelatin
1/2 cup milk
2 lbs. dry cottage cheese
2 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp almond extract
1 1/2 cups sugar
4 large eggs, separated
1 pint heavy cream


1.  Dissolve  gelatin in  1/4 cup water--set aside
2.  Press the cottage cheese through a sieve or food mill.  (use a food processor if you don't have a food mill) and set aside.
3.  Beat egg yolks with 1/2 cup of sugar  until thick. Add 1/2 cup milk
4.  Cook the eggs mixture over a double boiler until thick.  
5.  Add gelatin to the egg mixture, stir briskly for 1 minute.  Set aside to cool.
6.  Add 1/2 cup sugar, vanilla and almond extract to the cottage cheese.
7. Add the cooled egg and gelatin mixture to the cottage cheese mixture and set aside.
8.  Beat the egg whites and add  1/2 cup sugar gradually.  Beat until stiff but not dry.
9.  Fold the egg whites into the cheese.
10.  Whip the cream and fold into the cheese.
11.  Pour into the pan and top with the reserved crumbs.
12.  Refrigerate  overnight.