Our Italian Kitchen, I was immediately overwhelmed. What's a mutt to do? This is a serious question people! I was stressed out about this for over half the month!
After much debate, I settled on baking something from my mom's side of the family. There aren't many family members left and I don't know a whole lot about their heritage (Aunt Deb, we need to work on this!). I do know that my late Grandmother was Swedish and/or had Swedish in her. Since I don't have many memories of her, and no memories of what she cooked, I wanted to bake something in her honor.
After some research I came across Ostkaka, Swedish cheesecake, and thought this would be a good fit with the theme and my husband's love of cheesecake. Coincidentally, or not, I had recently picked up a jar of lingonberry preserves from IKEA, which is the perfect, dare I say traditional, accompaniment for this dessert.
I settled on this recipe from Dreaming of Winter blog mainly because I was being lazy and didn't want to use raw milk and rennet, nor did I want to convert all of the metric measurements found in most of the other recipes online. Of course I couldn't leave the recipe alone, and made a few changes based on suggestions from other bloggers and recipes I found. The result was a very subtly flavored cheesecake/pudding like dessert. I'm glad that I added almond extract and extra sugar, because I think without those it would definitely be lacking in flavor. Toasting the almonds would make this even better.
After all my initial stress, I really enjoyed this month's challenge. In fact, I've decided to investigate and cook or bake more from my heritage in the coming months. Amanda, thank you for sparking that interest!
Oh, and that blue plate...it was my Grandfather's. I'm not sure if he had these when my Grandmother was alive, but I've decided to believe that is true since I don't know otherwise.
The changes I made to the recipe are included here:
- 3 large eggs
- 7 Tbsp granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup sliced almonds
- 1/4 cup all purpose flour, sifted
- 3/4 cup 1% milk
- 3/4 cup heavy whipping cream
- 2 1/4 cup 4% small curd cottage cheese
- 1 tsp almond extract
In a mixing bowl beat eggs with sugar until well combined. Add almonds, flour, milk, cream and almond extract. Combine well.
Using a blender (a food process may work better), blend cottage cheese until smooth. Add cottage cheese to mixing bowl. Mix until everything is combined.
Pour into cheesecake pan. Bake for 1 hour. Place on wire rack to cool.
Run knife around edge of the pan to before remove side ring. Serve with lingonberry preserves and/or whipped cream.