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Cousin Ela's Polish Cheesecake with Dew Recipe - Sernik z Rosa

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Polish Cheesecake with Dew or Sernik z Rosa

Polish Cheesecake with Dew or Sernik z Rosa

¢ 2010 Barbara Rolek licensed to About.com, Inc.
This Polish cheesecake with dew recipe, or sernik z rosa (SEHR-neek z ROH-zah), is from my cousin Ela Gotter, who lives in Turek, Poland. The dessert gets its name from the beading or moisture drops, resembling dew, that form on top of the baked meringue. The addition of custard powder makes this a delightfully rich and creamy dessert. The custard powder can be purchased at many Eastern European delis, specialty stores or online. An alternative is to use instant vanilla pudding mix.

If you can't find dry curd cheese, you might want to make your own farmers cheese from scratch.

Here is a larger photo of Ela's Polish Cheesecake with Dew.

Prep Time: 45 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour, 30 minutes

Total Time: 2 hours, 15 minutes

Yield: 12 servings Polish Cheesecake

Ingredients:

  • Crust:
  • 3 cups cake flour
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 large egg yolk (save white for meringue topping)
  • 5 1/4 ounces cold butter
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons lard
  • Cheese filling:
  • 2 pounds dry curd or farmers cheese (twaróg) or ricotta
  • 1/2 cup sunflower or vegetable oil
  • 3 cups whole milk
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 2 large egg yolks (save whites for meringue topping)
  • 2 (60-g) packages custard powder or 2 small instant vanilla pudding mixes
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 3.5 ounces raisins (blanched if they are hard)
  • Meringue:
  • 3 reserved egg whites
  • 1/2 cup sugar

Preparation:

  1. To make the crust:In a large bowl, combine flour with baking powder. Cut in the butter and lard with a pastry blender or the tips of your fingers until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. In a small bowl, combine whole eggs and egg yolk, add to the flour mixture and, working quickly, bring the dough together. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate 15 minutes. Then press into the bottom and halfway up the sides of a 10-inch or 12-inch springform pan. Return to the refrigerator while you make the filling.

  2. To make the filling: Heat oven to 350 degrees. Blend the dry curd cheese in a food processor blender until smooth. Transfer to a large bowl and add oil, milk, sugar, 4 eggs, 2 egg yolks, custard powder and cornstarch, and beat until thorougly incorporated. Mix in raisins. The mixture will be very thin, but this is OK. Pour into refrigerated crust and place on a sheet pan. Bake about 90 minutes for a 10-inch pan, less for a 12-inch pan, or until the middle is just slightly jiggly and top is golden.

  3. Toward the end of the baking time in step 2, make the meringue by whipping the egg whites in a medium bowl until stiff. Slowly add 1/2 cup sugar and whip for another 2 to 3 minutes or until stiff and glossy. Spread on baked cheesecake and gently level the surface. Return to the oven and bake another 15-20 minutes or until golden. Let cool completely before serving. Store leftovers in the refrigerator.
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