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Friday, November 26, 2010

Baked Cheese Torte - Regular & GF

Grandma Clara's Baked Cheese Torte

I've intended to make this cheese cake for years.  Past efforts were thwarted by one vexing ingredient.  In Grandma's day they called it Baker's Cheese.  I called my grocery store to find out if they had it; they said they did.  They had Baker's Brand String Cheese.  Not at all what I needed.  Fortunately I found it at another store, under the name of Dry Curd Cottage Cheese. 

I had a list of ingredients and minimal notes for how to make the cheese cake.  I had already combined ALL the wet ingredients and had been mixing forever, but the curds were still lumpy.  So I finally strained the batter, threw the curds in the food processor, then blended the resulting paste back into the liquid.  Whew!

The true test of success was to take a piece to the nursing home and see how Grandma liked it.  She ate every last bite and noted how smooth it was.  At 101 years of age, Grandma would happily survive on bakery alone!  I'd been wondering how she made it before there were food processors?  They did it by pressing the curds through a metal seive.  Food processors are truly something to be thankful for!

2 1/2 c. graham cracker crumbs (or GF ginger snap cookie crumbs)
7 TBSP butter, melted
2/3 c. sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon

Combine crumbs with butter, sugar and cinnamon.  Reserve 2-3 TBSP crumb mixture for the top of the cake.  Press the remainder into a glass 13 x 9" pan.  Press crumbs along the bottom, and up the sides of pan.  Bake at 350 degrees for 5 minutes.

1 lb baker's cheese
1 lb regular cottage cheese
5 eggs
5 TBSP flour (2 1/2 TBSP cornstarch)
2 tsp vanilla
13 oz. can sweetened and condensed milk

Blend two cheeses in a food processor until smooth.  Add remaining ingredients and mix until smooth.  Pour into prepared crust.  Sprinkle reserved crumb mixture on top.

Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes.  Turn oven off, allow cheese cake to remain in oven for an additional 15 minutes.  Then open oven door and allow cheesecake to cool down - (still inside the oven) for 30 minutes.  Allow to cool completely before storing in the refrigerator.

For Thanksgiving we had traditional (non-GF) pumpkin pie, apple pie (non-GF) and my GF cheesecake.  I served the traditional pies from the kitchen table, and placed the GF dessert well away.  I had enough utensils that there would be no temptation to use the pie utensils to dish up the GF cheesecake - thereby contaminating it.  Several people asked me to put some cheesecake on the plate they had already eaten pie on...but that would have contaminated the utensils I used for the GF item.  Just like when you go up for seconds at a buffet, you need a fresh plate.

I can see this will require more practice.  But its good to know I survived my first GF holiday.  Hope yours was happy!  :)

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