November 15, 2005

The day of the cheesecake

Yesterday November 14th was the day of the cheesecake here in Sweden. Swedish cheesecake is not at all like American cheesecake with cream cheese and crumble in the bottom. The Swedish is made from milk, processed with something I can´t translate (the correct English word for ostlöpe? Anyone?) so the milk starts to turn into cheese. Then you scoop up the cheese, mix it with almonds, eggs and cream and bake it in the oven. It is served warm with whipped cream and jam. Totally delicious, but a bit time-consuming and you need a lot of milk....
I come from a part of Sweden where the ostkaka is extremely important, you get it at every festive occasion, especially when older people are involved in some way. My mother comes from another part of Sweden where the ostkaka also is important but there it is completely different in texture, more smooth and a little chewy. There is also a version of this on the west coast of Sweden called äggost (egg cheese). It is a living tradition and I have this untranslatable processing thing in the fridge to try make my own the traditional way some time.

The good news are you don´t have to have the untranslatable thing, abnormal quantities of milk or indeed the time to enjoy the Swedish ostkaka experience. Just follow this easy-peasy recipe!

Swedish cheesecake
Serves 4-6
2 eggs
2 tbsp sugar
250 g of cottage cheese
1.5 tbsp all-purpose flour
1/4 cup peeled and roughly chopped almonds

Whip up the eggs and sugar until white and fluffy. Stir in the other ingredients, pour in a greased ovenproof dish (not too big) and bake in 175 degrees (about 340 F) for about 30-45 minutes. Do not overcook! Serve with jam and maybe some whipped cream. Makes a great dessert after a soup for example.


First cuisine said...

I must say that the cheescake from your mother´s part of Sweden is unbeatable.
Greetings from her first cuisine, hehe.

Clivia said...

so they say, so they say... I haven´t had much Hälsingeostkaka actually. But I found a recipe before and will definitely try to make some... Oh, and I forgot to tell everybody that you use saffron in that cheesecake and serve it with cloudberry jam

First cuisine said...

I will tell your grandpa that you must always have Hälsinge ostkaka when you´re visiting him.
Here is your ´löpe´:
"According to legend, cheese was discovered thousands of years BC by a traveler who placed milk into a pouch made from a sheep´s stomach. During the journey, the sun´s heat and the enzymes in the lining of the stomach pouch changed the milk into curds and cheese whey. Scientists later discovered that the enzyme rennin (produced in calf stomach lining cells) would coagulate the protein (casein) in milk, forming curds and whey".
Löpe. Rennin.
(I found all this on the Internet, in a lessonplan from The Utah Education Network).

Clivia said...

Thank you so much. Rennin it is!

OsloFoodie said...

Hi there Clivia. Thanks so much for the recipe, I have been looking for something like this and cottage cheese sounds about right in this cheese (I was thinking of cottage or ricotta).

Sharon Brandt said...

Thank you for this cottage-cheese based Ostkaka. This recipe clarifies the recipe titled Swedish Dessert which will soon be published in our family cookbook. Our version will be the one used. It was usually served for our family smorgasbord at Christmas time. One aunt made the original recipe using renin.

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Moin Ahmed said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Moin Ahmed said...

I like the recipe but I couldn't get the thing you called "ostlöpe"... can you please tell me where it is extracted from? animal or plant or whatever.


Clivia said...

It is extracted from animals and you buy it at apoteket! Perhabs they have vegetarian also...