How do you say Eischnee in English? A direct translation from German would make it egg snow, which is rather pretty. Unfortunately the idiomatic version in English is probably the less poetic beaten eggwhite. The reason for translating a German recipe is that James has been raving about Quark Cake since he came back from Germany. Quark is a German curd cheese, which is more sour than sour cream, but similar in texture. Since James is not normally a lover of cheesecakes, the quark version must have been pretty special. The difficult part about making this cheesecake is that quark is not readily available in Sydney.
One Austrian friend managed to find organic quark at a speciality deli, but the price was exorbitant. Luckily another friend is both a home cook and a native speaker of German. She has been missing quark, so before long she found some recipes for both the quark itself, and for Quark Cake. Knowing James, she didn’t translate them, since that would be denying him the opportunity to practise his German.
Having made some quark (see the post on homemade quark), all that remained was to choose a Quark Cake recipe. Since James had amnesia regarding all features of the cake he’d had (barring its yumminess), all options were open. Why not choose something out of the ordinary then – a baked cheesecake with beaten egg white? It sounded different, and the lemon zest and rum-soaked raisin flavours were appealing.
In a last-ditch attempt to reduce the saturated fat content of this recipe I used a sweet, gluten free version of Heidi‘s Olive Oil Shortcrust for the pastry case. This crust is a little crunchy for a cheesecake, so feel free to substitute your favourite melt-in-the-mouth short crust recipe. After all, you can’t be good all the time.
This Quark Cake is soft, and well endowed with rum-soaked raisins. The lemon zest keeps it from being too sweet. The tang of quark makes the cake quite different from a cream cheese-based cheesecake, so it’s definitely worth making quark for it. It’s not too fiddly, and it’s a less time consuming way to get your quark fix than a trip to Germany!
Ingredients for the Quark Filling
fills a 22cm short crust pastry case
130g castor sugar
2 eggs, separated
rind of half a lemon
50g butter (melted)
30g gluten free plain flour
80g raisins soaked in rum
Method for the Quark Filling
1. Preheat the oven to 160 degrees Celcius.
2. Separate the eggs.
3. Combine the yolks and half the sugar with the quark. Mix it thoroughly.
4. Add the lemon zest, then the melted butter and mix well.
5. Sift in the flour and combine.
6. Drain the raisins (which you’ve soaked in rum for at least an hour), and add them too. Ensure they are well drained or the alcohol could curdle the mixture.
7. Beat the egg whites with the other half of the sugar until stiff peaks form.
8. Add 1/4 of the egg white to the quark mixture and fold in.
9. Then fold in the remainder of the beaten egg whites.
10. Pour into a cooled pastry case (22cm diameter).
11. Bake at 160 degrees Celcius for ~45 min. When the cake is cooked the centre will spring back when lightly touched and a skewer will come out clean.
Ingredients for the Olive Oil Short Crust (gluten free)
alternatively blind bake your favourite short crust pastry in a 22cm tart tin
200g gluten free plain flour
50g brown rice flour
50g castor sugar
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 cup water
Method for the Olive Oil Short Crust (gluten free)
1. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees Celcius.
2. Combine the sifted flours and sugar with the olive oil.
3. Add the water very gradually until the dough comes together in a ball. You won’t need all the water, so add it only a little at a time.
4. Roll out the pastry on a lightly floured board until it is the right size for your 22cm tart tin. Loosen the pastry with a palette knife and roll it around your rolling pin while you transport it into the pan. If it cracks (and since it’s gluten free you’re a hero if it doesn’t), then poke it together with your fingers.
5. Prick the pastry with a fork and cover lightly with uncooked rice, then bake blind for ~25 mins at 200 degrees Celcius.