This cheesecake recipe is from my debut cookbook, Polska, and based on the one my grandma used to make for all kinds of family celebrations during my childhood in Poland.
- 65 g unsalted butter, melted
- 1 egg yolk
- 250 g plain flour
- 1 tbsp sour (soured) cream (see Note)
- 65 g (golden) caster sugar
- 3 egg yolks
- 100 g (golden) caster sugar
- 500 g soft white cheese
- 100 g butter, softened
- 1 tbsp grated orange zest
- 1 tbsp grated lemon zest
- ½ tsp vanilla extract
- 3 egg whites (or more – see Note)
- 2 tbsp icing sugar
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 1 tbsp orange juice
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.
Chilling time: 30 minutes
Base cooling and standing times: 20 minutes + 20 minutes
- Combine all the dough ingredients in a large bowl and knead into a ball for about 10 minutes (you can add a bit more soured cream if the mixture feels dry). Cover and chill in the fridge for about 30 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 180°C. Grease a 20 cm square baking tin.
- To make the filling, blend the egg yolks with the sugar to a light, smooth paste. Slowly start adding the white cheese and butter, one tablespoon of one, then the other, beating all the time.
- Add the orange and lemon zest and finally, the vanilla extract.
- Take the dough out of the fridge and cut off about a third. Roll the large piece out on a floured surface, then cut into a square roughly the size of your baking tray. Place in your greased baking tin, pierce a few times with a fork and bake for 10 minutes.
- Meanwhile, roll out the smaller piece as thinly as you can and cut it into strips of about 1 cm in width.
- Remove your base from the oven and lower the temperature to 160°C. Allow to cool for at least 20 minutes.
- In a large bowl, beat the egg whites to stiff peaks. Gently fold into the filling mixture and stir to combine.
- Pour the cheesecake filling onto the base and lay the dough strips diagonally over the top, making stripes or checks as you prefer.
- Bake for 50 minutes or until set and golden, then turn the oven off and allow the cheesecake to stand in the cooling oven for a further 20 minutes while you prepare the glaze.
- Combine the icing sugar with the lemon and orange juice until you achieve a runny consistency.
- Brush the glaze over the cheesecake whilst still warm.
- Allow to cool completely before serving.
• If you can’t get hold of soured cream, you can use another thick cream as a replacement.
• If you happen to have some extra egg whites, then it won’t hurt to add them in for a more fluffy consistency.
Photography by Yasin Salazar. Styling by Zuza Zak. Food preparation by Zuza Zak.