Every family probably has a recipe whose origin, and when exactly it became a family staple, is unknown. Maybe it was saved from an old section of the newspaper, maybe it was taken from Ruth Sirkis’s or Hana Shaulov’s cookbook and maybe it was given to us by a relative or a neighbor after we demanded the recipe after dinner. Either way, this recipe is a veteran and has many fans and, as such, is family property. This baked cheesecake is exactly like that: my mother, the late Rika Lieberman, would make it every Shavuot since I was a child. After she passed away, I adopted the custom and started making it myself – and I’ve been baking it ever since, each time honing its precision and playing with temperature and baking time to achieve a cloudy and airy texture.
Ingredients for Cheesecake
- 5 eggs separated
- 1 cup (200 grams) Sugar
- 2.2 lbs (1 kilogram) 9% white cheese quark or cream cheese may be substituted
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract high-quality
- 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
- grated lemon peel from one lemon
- 4 tablespoons corn starch
- 4 tablespoons Vanilla Instant Pudding
For cream topping (optional)
- 1 cup (250 ml) sweet cream
- 1/2 cup (120 grams) milk
- 1/2 box Vanilla Instant Pudding
- seasonal fruit Like strawberries, blueberries, cherries, or Amarena cherries
- confectioners' sugar
1. Heat an oven to 160 degrees with top and bottom heat (not turbo). Place a pan or low pot with 2 cups of water in the lower part of the oven and close the oven. Grease a springform pan and line the bottom and sides with baking paper.
2. Beat egg whites and 1/2 cup of sugar until stiff.
3. In a separate bowl, mix the rest of the cake ingredients - egg yolks, the rest of the sugar, white cheese, vanilla extract, almond extract, lemon peel, cornflour and instant pudding - for a uniform and smooth batter.
4. Gently fold the egg whites and sugar into the cheese mixture and transfer the batter to a springform pan.
5. Bake for 15 minutes, making sure there is water left in the pan or pot we placed at the bottom of the oven; If not - add another glass of water to maintain a moist environment in the oven throughout baking.
6. Lower the oven temperature to 150 degrees and continue baking for another hour, until the top is golden and beautiful. Do not open the oven while baking!
7. Turn off the oven and open the door. Cool the cake slowly in the oven for 3 hours, and transfer to the refrigerator to continue cooling overnight.
Prepare the cream topping (optional)
8. Beat all the topping ingredients in a mixer bowl with a whisk until uniform and stable. Spread on the cake and decorate with strawberries or berries or Amarena cherries. Alternatively, you can skip the coating, dust the cake with powdered sugar and decorate with fruit.