If you have a smattering of German, you’ll know that this is Grandma Freidel’s cheesecake. Much as I would love to be able to claim this is a secret family recipe, passed down through the generations, that would be a great big lie. It is a family recipe, but it comes from my friend Klaus in Brussels shared at the weekend.
As baked cheesecakes go, this is a nice, simple recipe (no worrying about making a base, getting it cooked, then doing the filling…). Instead, just make the batter and bake. Simple. It also has a light, fresh hint of citrus, and is excellent either on its own, or served with red fruits (think a simple compote of redcurrants and raspberries). Served in giant slabs, you’ll be transported to the Black Forest in no time.
To make Grandma Friedel’s cheesecake:
• 250g butter
• 350g sugar
• 1 sachet of vanilla sugar
• 6 eggs
• Pinch of salt
• Zest of 1/2 lemon
• 1 kg Magerquark (similar to drained low-fat fromage frais)
• 8 dessert spoons of fine semolina
• 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
• 2 dessert spoons single cream
Preheat the oven to 150°C (300°F). Grease a springform cake tin and line the base with a disc of greaseproof paper.
Melt the butter and allow to cool. Add the sugar, vanilla sugar and lemon zest, and mix well.
Separate the six eggs, placing the whites in a separate bowl and add five of the yolks to the butter/sugar mixture (keep one yolk separate for later). Mix the yolks into the butter/sugar mixture and stir well until combined.
Mix the quark, semolina and lemon juice together. Beat the egg whites with the pinch of salt until stiff, and fold into the quark mixture. Finally, fold in the butter/sugar/egg yolk mixture. Be delicate, trying to keep as much air in the mixture as possible.
Pour the mixture into the cake tin. Beat the reserved egg yolk with the cream and drizzle carefully over the top of the batter.
Bake for 60 minutes. After 30 minutes, check the top of the cake, and cover with a round of greaseproof paper to prevent it from burning.
Once cooked, remove from the oven – at this stage, it might look a little bit wobbly, but it will set when cool.