The thing about cheesecake is that it can be sublime when done right, comforting sometimes and even sophisticated if the occasion demands. A cheesecake can be light and airy, or firm and full. Always tangy, sweet and smooth. It can be eaten plain, or dressed up with macerated strawberries, sliced alphonso mangoes, stewed fruit, caramel, and anything else you can dream up. We’ve been fantasizing lately about a lemony cheesecake topped with bananas that have been cooked with this divine salted peanut caramel for a few minutes. That’s the fantasy.
This cheesecake recipe is the perfect recipe for that little fantasy.
There was a time when Philadelphia cream cheese was too expensive to be bought on a whim or for an experiment but that didn’t mean the desire for cheesecake was any lower. So this recipe was found and modified and tweaked over a few years and because it uses Paneer instead of exorbitant cream cheese, it feels like a comforting, homely dessert rather than a luxurious extravagance. And that feeling is no less precious.
Cottage Cheese Cheesecake
For the Crust:
1/4 cup (50-60 gr) butter, melted
1 cup Digestive or Marie Biscuit crumbs
1 tbs Sugar
1/4 tsp ground Cinnamon
For the Cake:
2 cups (450-500 gr) Cottage Cheese (Paneer)
1/2 (120 ml) cup milk
3 tbs all-purpose Flour
3-4 tbs Lemon juice
1 -2 tsp Lemon rind
1 tsp Vanilla Extract (Please do not use Vanilla essence. It is evil)
2/3 cup Sugar
1/4 tsp Salt
You could use an 8 inch, spring form cake tin for this cake or 9 inch ceramic/glass pie dish. If you’re using the microwave method for the crust, make sure the dish you use is a microwave proof dish that can also be used in the oven.
Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C).
For the crust:
Oven Method: Stir the biscuit crumbs and melted butter along with sugar and cinnamon into the cake tin. Pat over the bottom and sides of the cake tin. Bake in the pre-heated oven for 10 minutes. Set aside.
Microwave Method: Stir the biscuit crumbs and melted butter along with sugar and cinnamon into the microwave proof dish. Pat over the bottom and sides of the dish. Cook on MEDIUM-HI for 1 to 1 1/2 minutes, or until set. Set aside.
For the Cake:
Using a blender, combine the cottage cheese, milk, eggs, flour, lemon juice, lemon rind, vanilla, sugar and salt and blend until smooth. Pour the cheesecake filling over the crush and place in the preheated oven to bake for 60 minutes.
Let the cake cool completely before adding any toppings you like and serving.
Note: If you don’t have vanilla extract, try substituting an equal amount of maple syrup, almond extract or rum. Or if you can find a vanilla bean, scrape the seeds of one pod into your cheesecake batter.