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Traditional Polish Cheesecake Recipe - Sernik

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Traditional Polish Cheesecake or Sernik

Traditional Polish Cheesecake or Sernik

© 2010 Barbara Rolek licensed to About.com, Inc.
This recipe for traditional Polish cheesecake or sernik (SEHRR-neek) has a sweet pastry crust and a quark or farmers cheese filling, known as twaróg (TVAH-rroog). If you can't find dry curd cheese, you might want to make your own farmers cheese from scratch.

It is one of the most common desserts in Polish restaurants and at home. Compare with this more modern Polish cheesecake, which has a cookie crumb crust. I adapted this recipe from one given to me by the daughter of Anna Chodan Krol from Rudka, Poland. This tea cookie recipe also is from Anna Krol.

Here is a larger photo of Traditional Polish Cheesecake

Prep Time: 45 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour

Total Time: 1 hour, 45 minutes

Yield: 12 servings Traditional Sernik

Ingredients:

  • Crust:
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 5 ounces (1 1/4 sticks) cold butter
  • 2 large egg yolks (leftover egg white recipes)
  • 3 tablespoons sour cream
  • Filling:
  • 5 ounces (1 stick + 2 tablespoons) softened butter
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 4 large eggs, separated
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 pounds dry curd cheese or twaróg or quark cheese, passed through a sieve or processed in a blender until smooth

Preparation:

  1. To make the crust: In a large bowl or food processor, mix flour, 1/2 cup sugar and baking powder. Cut in butter as for pie dough. In a separate bowl, mix together egg yolks and sour cream and add to flour, mixing only until combined. If dough is too dry, add an extra whole egg. If dough is too soft to roll, refrigerate for 1 hour. Lightly grease a 13x9-inch pan with butter. Roll dough large enough to line the pan and come up the sides. Fit into pan, making a crimped or rolled edge. (Note: If you have leftover dough, roll it into pencil shapes to decorate the top of the filled cheesecake.)

  2. Heat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, cream 5 ounces butter with 2 cups sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in 4 egg yolks and vanilla until well incorporated. Thoroughly mix in the cheese. In a separate bowl, beat the egg whites to stiff peaks. Fold them into the cheese mixture. Pour filling into prepared pan. If you have leftover dough, roll into pencil shapes and lay them diagonally across the top of the cheesecake. Bake 50-60 minutes or until center is only slightly jiggly. Don't let the top brown. Let cool completely before serving. Refrigerate leftovers.
User Reviews

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 5 out of 5
Delicious., Member sarahnichole

I love NY style cheesecake, but we are poles (American born) so I of course had to try it. Let me tell you cheese is something poles know best! Delicious. A little more work in my opinion than your standard chessecake with a graham cracker crust, but far better.

25 out of 27 people found this helpful.

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