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  • I’m flattered, froylein.

    Nu? So how was it? It certainly looks delicious.

    Never seen a square cheesecake, though.

  • It was great. 🙂

    The square tin worked pretty nicely; that way I could cut the cake into 16 squares, which looked pretty neat.

  • Holy crap fro! This looks even better than the cheesecakes my idiot savant/retarded cousin makes.

    Can you send those via FedEx? Come on. I turned 25 today!

  • Looks great and the recipe looks like a nice, somewhat lighter variation on New York Cheesecake.

    (I just now read Ephraim’s part of that earlier thread…)

    I also am envious of your fruit trees. This year (just before the Sabbatical Year started) we finally planted some trees in our yard – lemon, apricot, pomegranite, fig, almond, a peach (which died) and a Persian mulberry. And grapevines. And an etrog that we grew from a seed.

    But no cherries or Italian plums – they require too much winter chill for anyplace in Israel but the Golan and the Jerusalem area. I can’t complain too much because the garden is open all year, and we can grow a lot of subtropical stuff – like macadamia nuts and the citrus (which are lovely and fragrant).

    Hopefully this fall we will continue with more apricots, more nuts, apples, more citrus, peach/nectarine, etc. We also have an avocado in a pot that we may put out.

    Here’s my mom’s recipe for full-fat, don’t-drop-it-on-your-foot New York Cheesecake:

    2 pounds cream cheese (800-1000 gr.)
    4 eggs
    1-3/4 cups sugar
    1 teaspoon vanilla (I add another spoon of Frangelico or whiskey)
    grated rind of one lemon
    3 Tablespoons lemon juice

    Butter a 9-inch (22 cm) souffle dish or another deep pan.

    Preheat oven to 350F/175C

    Use a stand mixer if you have one.

    Beat cheese until soft and smooth, beat in vanilla and sugar until smooth.

    On slower speed, add eggs one at a time, and beat only to incorporate. Add lemon rind and juice and beat lightly just to mix. Don’t beat a lot after adding eggs.

    Pour into pan, twist pan on countertop to level the batter.

    Bake in a bain-marie (pour pre-boiled water in the bain-marie as you put the cake in). There should be 1 inch/3cm water up the side of the pan.

    Bake for 1.5 hours. You may want to cover the top to keep it from browning.

    Let cool before unmolding.


    As I mentioned in the earlier thread, this makes a high, dense cake. You can bake it in a wider pan for smaller portions.

    I use a ceramic/pyrex souffle dish, which keeps it smooth and custardy. I’ve never used a springform, but I don’t think it will leak.

    There is no crust – so you can use a carboard patisserie bottom to make it easier to unmold. In a pinch I have cut one from a cereal box. You can also line with parchment paper, but it really is very dense cake – it usually unmolds OK.

    The cake usually forms a neat, flat top with a slightly raised ring around the outside. So you can fill the top with sour cherries/apricot puree/etc.

  • Awwww, sonny, Happy Belated Birthday! You should have told me ahead of time. Have you really got a savant cousin?

    B-D, sounds similar to the recipe I’ve got:
    900 gramms of cream cheese (I use low-fat, the full-fat version could stun a rhino)
    3 tablespoons of potato starch
    1 egg
    200 millilitres of cream
    200 grammes of sugar
    vanilla (for special occasions I use real borbon vanilla as opposed to vanilla essence, and I use generous amounts)

    This mix works well with a crumble base as well as with a shortcrust one; I prefer cinnamon cookies for or add cinnamon to the base. When I use a crumble base, I pre-bake it for roughly ten minutes and let it set, so the crumbs won’t start floating up in the filling when the mix is poured into the pan (alternatively, take a large spoon and slowly pour in the mix over the back of the spoon, but the other way’s easier) . The recipe also suffices for baking a flat cheesecake on a tray.

  • Ben David:

    Yes, my version, which is the one my mother made, is essentially the same cake as yours, just made mainly with farmer’s cheese as opposed to cream cheese. I use the 3-to-1 ratio of farmer’s to cream cheese to give the cake a slightly denser, creamier texture than you would get with an all farmer’s cheese version, which can be a little dry.

    Never put any spirits in it, though.

    My version rises quite high during the baking, and then falls as the cake cools, leaving the nice depression you mention, waiting to be filled with all sorts of good things. I’ve heard of blueberry, raspberry, and other sorts of berry toppings, but I still prefer sour cherries.

    On a different subject, I made blini the other day for brunch, savory (with lox, chopped chives, and salmon caviar) and sweet (stewed blackberries, blueberries, strawberries, and raspberries), all accompanied by homemade creme fraiche. Really good.

  • How do you make creme fraiche at home?

    I am hoping the influx of French Jewish immigrants will improve Israel’s dairy offerings… although I can’t complain so much because things have improved a lot since the time I was here as a student, and over the decade(s) we have lived here. But some things are still missing from the dairy case.

  • Just heat up some heavy cream until it’s tepid, then stir in a few tablespoons of cultured buttermilk. Let the cream sit out overnight loosely covered, and then cover and refrigerate it. The culture in the buttermilk will slowly sour the cream until it turns into a slightly less sour version of sour cream. For the first day or two it’s still quite runny, but the cream gets thicker and more sour as time passes. If you want it fairly sour and not too runny, you should make it about 4 days in advance of when you want to use it.

  • Of course! Just let me know when you are planning to come.

    But you wouldn’t need to ask Ephraim and me if you would just get married already… Not that I’m pressuring or anything. I just want you to be happy…

  • Aw, B-D, why do you think Muffti isn’t happy? You’re like an advertiser who keeps trying to tell someone that their life isn’t complete and happy without X… 🙂

  • 1) How do you know you couldn’t be happier?

    2) Whew! I was hoping you wouldn’t point out that it’s the married men who are trading recipes…

    Remember: the way to a woman’s heart is through her palate…

  • 1) Muffti doesn’t know, but he’s curious to know how you know that he could be happier!

    2) Noticed but not pointed out.

    3) Thanks for the tip. Of course you have to get said woman to like you enough to come over and dine before you manage to get anything to approach the palate…

  • Nice to have one’s longstanding beliefs challenged. I’d figured a heterosexual male who can cook was a contradiction in terms.