healthy German cheesecake with apples

DSCN2296Yes, another „German“ recipe, I’m only putting it in the title because – as with the onion tart – the recipe calls for a quite specific dairy product, which may not be readily available everywhere. While the typical American cheesecake has a cream cheese filling making it delisiously creamy, rich and smooth, German cheesecakes use curd cheese („Quark“) as a base. This makes for a lighter, fluffier cake, that I’m quite partial to because it tastes of childhood memories to me, it’s the kind of cake moms would bring to nursery school festivities.

Curd cheese is somewhat similar to yoghurt but produced differently. In France you find fromage blanc, which is very close if not the same. To me, the American greek yoghurt tasted very much like quark, I’ve read tips online that you can drain it through a cotton cloth it it is too runny, so that may be a substutite if you can’t find curd cheese anywhere.

Also, a slight warning. While this cakes is really, really delicious, it is not, however, a-healthy-cake-that-doesn’t-taste-healthy. It’s sweet but not too sugary, with a substantial base due to the whole wheat bottom. It’s the sort of cake which you can find at a food stall at an organic farmer’s market around here. And I really, really love that taste!

for the dough:
200g whole wheat flour (or spelt)
30g of sugar
2 tablespoons of neutral oil such as rapeseed oil
1/2 teaspoon of baking powder
2-4 tablespoons of water
a pinch of salt

for the filling:
500g of low fat curd (less than 10% fat)
2 eggs
20g of cornstarch
60g of sugar
1/2 teaspoon of vanilla powder
juice and zest of 1 lemon
a pinch of cinnamon
2 apples*

directions:

in a bowl, mix all the ingredients for the dough and knead thoroughly. Add only so much water, that the dough sticks together. Form a ball and let cool in the refrigerator while you prepare the filling.

Heat oven to 180°C (380°F). Seperate the eggs and beat the egg whites. Mix alle the other ingredients together (you may try a bit of the curd cheese mixture to see if it’s sweet/lemony/vanilla-ry enough), then add the egg yolk. When everything is combined, carefully fold in the beaten egg whites.

Lightly grease a spring form (26cm/9 inches) and roll out the dough. Use about 1/3 of it to form the rim. Spoon in about 1/3 to 1/2 of the filling. Cut up the apples: I peeled about 1 1/2 of them and cut them into little chunks. Sprinkle the apple pieces on top, then cover them with the rest of the filling. Cut the remaining apple half into fine slices and tuck them into the filling for decoration.

Bake for about 40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean and the cake has a nice golden brown colour.

* you may of course use other fruit such as berries or leave them out for a more traditional cheesecake.

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