German Style Cheesecake

My mom searched for years for an authentic German cheesecake recipe, but Germans use ‘quark’, an ingredient not readily available in the U.S. This recipe uses cottage cheese in place of quark and makes its own crust while baking.

Last summer, we stumbled upon a quaint little German bakery on our drive home from vacation. We stopped in long enough to stretch our legs and browse the fresh-baked pastries, and we couldn’t resist trying a slice of the beautiful, strudel-topped cheesecake that sat on the counter. It was heavenly! So light and creamy, with hints of apple and vanilla. We spent a lot of time experimenting, and we’ve finally found the right combination of ingredients to recreate that authentic German cheesecake flavor. The recipe isn’t too complicated. A simple and delicious shortbread crust makes it even easier. The hardest part is waiting for this decadent treat to bake and cool, but we guarantee it’s worth every second.

I lived in Germany many years ago and loved eating cheesecake, but the cheesecake recipes in the US are very different. This recipe is the closest I’ve found to a traditional German cheesecake.

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Delicious! If anyone wants to play with these ingredients, I found some substitutions for quark (which is what real german cheesecake is made of)…here they are… Note: There are 3 substitutions that can be used for the Quark in this recipe if Quark is not available. One is to use farmer’s cheese, another is to purée cottage cheese in a blender or food processor, and the third is to purée eight parts of ricotta cheese with 1 part of sour cream in a food processor.

I’ve only ever used quark for cheesecake… A nice touch is mixing some canned peaches (coarsely diced) into the batter before baking. This is what my German grandma always does for hot summer afternoons.

INGREDIENTS

2 1/2 cups shortbread crushed cookies
1 tablespoon light brown sugar
6 tablespoons butter, melted
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