This light, creamy cheesecake fits into your green Shavuot, especially if you make it with organic cheese and eggs. It’s also light on sugar.
The ancient Romans left a simple cheesecake recipe: ricotta cheese, honey, and eggs. Pour into a clay saucer. Bake over coals. That still works, but for the Jewish holiday of Shavuot, we favor this recipe. It’s got just that hint of lemon and vanilla that makes you feel like you need another slice now, before someone else lays hands on it. And it fits into your domestic Jewish eco-activities, because it’s home-made – much healthier and more delicious than margarine-laden bakery products.
Have three bowls at hand, 1 large, 1 medium, 1 small. Prepare a cake pan either with baking paper or by greasing it with sweet butter and coating it with flour. And do not preheat the oven: you want to start baking cold.
New York Cheesecake
6 servings: double the ingredients and bake in a larger pan for 12 servings.
3 Tblsp. sugar, plus 6 Tblsp. later
500 grams – 1 lb. – 2 cups – soft, creamy white cheese – here in Israel I use 9% white cheese
1 tsp. vanilla essence
Juice of 1 lemon
6 Tblsp. sifted flour
1. Separate the eggs.
Keep the whites in the large bowl.
Put 3 of the yolks in the medium bowl; in the small bowl, the other 3 yolks.
2. In the medium bowl, beat the 3 yolks with the 3 Tblsp. sugar and all of the cheese. Mix well till smooth.
3. Whip all the egg whites till stiff.
4. To the whites, add the 6 Tblsp. sugar and whip till the whites make smooth peaks.
5. Add the flour, the lemon juice, the 3 yolks from the small bowl and the vanilla.
Mix very well. This is the batter.
6. Pour 2/3 of the batter into the baking pan.
7. Mix the remaining third of the batter into the cheese mixture. Mix well.
8. Pour this new mixture straight into the center of the batter in the pan.
Bake at 300°F – 150° C for one hour. Turn the oven off, but don’t remove the cake: just open the oven door a crack and let the cake cool inside. Once cooled down, store the cake in the fridge.
More Green Prophet recipes for your Shavuot meals: