I just saw our famous athlete Carolina Klüft on TV, getting a gold medal in heptathlon. I say, that girl must have been fed a lot of cheesecake to get so strong and beautiful. She comes from the same landscape as me, Småland, where everyone is force-fed cheesecake at every even remotely festive occasion. As a child I dreaded all these coffee parties because I couldn´t bear the taste and texture of it, but now I just love it. Earlier I have given you a very simple recipe, based on cottage cheese, but if you have time and patience you can make the real thing, from scratch. It is like a warm, crumbly pudding with a very distinct almond flavour, and totally delicious. And sorry, no picture - blogger is on strike again it seems.
My man never stops fascinating me. He can start the most interesting projects at the most interesting times of the day. Like this Thursday evening, after dinner at about 7 o´clock in the evening. He got up from the table, put away the dishes and said: "I am going to make cheesecake now". Umm, OK I thought, who vividly recalls my mother´s cheesecake sessions - it takes ages. But he still had vacation and felt like it so why not?
The cheesecake was almost perfect - the taste was spot on and the texture very good, although a little wet. It is very important that you drain off the whey really careful! Otherwise it seems to be easy, I might try it myself one of these days...
Cheesecake (the Småland way)
3000 ml of whole milk + 200 ml
1 tbsp rennin (you can get it in the pharmacy here)
140 ml plain flour
100 ml sugar
40 grams almonds, peeled and roughly chopped
2 bitter almonds, peeled and grated
300 ml whipping cream
Warm the 3000 ml of milk to 37 degrees. Whip the 200 ml of milk with rennin and flour, stir it in the warm milk and stir for about 1 minute.
Put the casserole aside, put the lid on and leave it for about 45 minutes until the milk is stiff and let go of the edges in the casserole.
Take a long knife and cut the cheese mass in squares, then stir a bit very carefully. Leave the mass to sink and the whey to float up. Scoop out the whey, as much as you can (you can save it for baking bread). Then stir again, scoop and repeat until all the whey is gone. You can also drain it in a muslin sieve.
Whip together the cream, eggs and sugar, mix in almond and cream.
Mix with the cheese mass, you can squeeze it with your hands to get the right texture
Pour in a 1000-ml round ovenproof dish and bake it in 175 C for about 1 hour, until it has a nice colour and rises in the middle.
Serve warm with some good jam and maybe some whipped cream. The traditional way is to start scooping in the middle of the dish, an old custom that has to do with older times oven dishes made of copper. Sometimes they gave off verdigris around the edges so the cheesecake went green, so the guests got to start in the middle where the cheesecake was nice and clean!