Farmer's cheese is a pressed cottage cheese sometimes sold as quark. It's slightly more acidic than it's cottage and ricotta cheese cousins but can be interchanged in a pinch.
- 125 g unsalted butter, chopped, at room temperature
- 275 g (1¼ cup) caster sugar
- 4 eggs
- 340 g plain flour, sifted
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 130 g (⅓ cup) raisins
- 750 g farm cheese (see Note)
- 1 lemon, zested, juiced
- 1½ tsp vanilla extract
- 40 g butter, melted
- 165 g (¾ cup) caster sugar
- 1 lemon, juiced
- 300 g frozen or pitted cherries
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Cooling time: 4 hours
To make pastry base, using an electric mixer, beat butter, 75 g sugar and ¼ tsp salt until pale and fluffy. Beat 1 egg, add to the butter mixture and beat until combined. Add 300 g flour and baking powder, and stir to combine. Press mixture into the base and side of a greased 22 cm springform pan. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour.
Meanwhile, to make the compote, combine sugar, lemon juice and 250 ml water in a saucepan over medium heat and cook, stirring, until the sugar dissolves. Increase heat to high, add cherries and bring to the boil. Cook for 10 minutes or until reduced by one-third. Transfer the cherries to a bowl and cook syrup for a further 10 minutes or until reduced by one-third. Pour over cherries and set aside to cool. Makes 1⅓ cups.
Preheat oven to 190°C. Prick the pastry base, then bake for 12 minutes or until light golden. Cool. Reduce oven to 150°C.
To make filling, soak raisins in 250 ml hot water for 5 minutes, then drain. Press cheese through a sieve into a bowl. Stir in lemon zest and juice, vanilla and the remaining 40 g flour. Using an electric mixer, whisk remaining 3 eggs for 6 minutes or until pale and thick. Whisk in remaining 200 g sugar, then fold into cheese mixture. Stir in butter and raisins.
Spoon into pastry shell. Bake for 1 hour or until firm. Cool. Refrigerate for 4 hours or until chilled. Serve cake with cherry compote drizzled over.
• Farm cheese is a soft cow’s-milk cheese that’s available from selected greengrocers and delis. The Brancourt brand is stocked at most Harris Farm stores.
As seen in Feast magazine, Issue 9, pg148.
Photography by Brett Stevens.