Raspberry Farm [Polish Cheesecake]

polish cheesecake2

When you promise someone a cake, you’d better make it.

A girl at work was headed out to shoot a video at a raspberry farm. To say the least, I was a bit jealous. All that sunshine (and all those berries!). I shoot too, but usually not anything like that. So I cut a little deal with her: bring me back some berries, and on Monday I will bring Polish cheesecake made with those berries. Well, no one at the office seemed to know what Polish cheesecake was, so that pushed the issue even more. There had to be cake.

Honestly, I felt like I got the long end of the stick. She brought back a couple of deli containers full of raspberries. And they were sun-warmed, sweet-tart little gems.

polish cheesecake1

 Polish Cheesecake
*adapted from From a Polish Country House Kitchen, by Anne Applebaum and Danielle Crittenden

For the cake:

1 1/2 cups (160 g) fine dry bread crumbs
1/4 cup (20 g) confectioner’s sugar, sifted
6 tbsp. (85 g) butter, melted
3/4 cup (130 g) raisins
1 tbsp. all-purpose flour
1 1/2 lb. (680 g) whole-milk ricotta cheese, at room temperature
4 large eggs, at room temperature
1 cup (225 g) granulated sugar
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

For the raspberry sauce:

1/2 cup (120 ml) water
1 3/4 cup (395 g) fresh raspberries

For the cake:

Preheat the oven to 300F. Line the bottom of a 9-inch springform pan with parchment paper and butter the sides.

Combine the bread crumbs and confectioner’s sugar in a medium bowl, and drizzle the melted butter on top. Stir until well mixed. Press the mixture lightly with your fingers into the base of the pan and up the sides a bit. Bake for 15 minutes and cool completely before filling.

Put the raisins in a food processor, sprinkle with flour, and process until the raisins are nicely chopped. Put the ricotta in a medium bowl, stir in the raisins, and set aside.

With an electric mixer set at medium speed, beat the eggs in a large mixing bowl until they are pale yellow. Then, while still beating, slowly add the granulated sugar and vanilla. Stir in the ricotta mixture by hand and continue stirring until the filling is well-combined. Pour the filling into the baked crust and bake for 40 to 50 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the centre comes out clean. Cool completely in the pan. Remove the sides of the pan and transfer the cake to a serving platter.

For the raspberry sauce:

Combine the water and fruit in a microwave-safe dish, and microwave on high for at least 5 minutes. The water should be boiling, but should not evaporate completely. Remove from the microwave and blend with an immersion blender until thick and smooth. Strain through a fine mesh sieve, pushing the fruit through the mesh. Drizzle the sauce over the cake.


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