How was this so good? Magic. That's how.
Holy God, I love cheesecake. If you're ever wondering what kind of cake to get me for any occasion, cheesecake.
But cheesecake differs from land to land. The New York style cheesecake, with its graham cracker crust and its cream cheese based filling, and all the different things that can go on it, like cherries in sweet syrup, is much different than most European cheesecakes, which uses lighter cheeses like ricotta or quark. There isn't often the same kind of crust, and it can also include things like raisins that make it even sweeter.
So, in general, European cheesecakes do tend to be a lot fluffier than their American counterparts, which is good. I love NY cheesecake, too, but sometimes you eat it too fast and feel like you just swallowed a brick. That doesn't happen with this style, though, which I found in Laura and Peter Zeranski's book, Polish Desserts.
I adapted a couple tiny things, but what jumped out at me in these ingredients was the potential for magic, namely in the orange, lemon, vanilla, and potato, of all things: potential for bright energy, plenty of healing, and a healthy dose of heart-warming love.
Magic in Krakow Cheesecake
Now, there's a handy difference in the healing energy that puts you to rest, and the healing that cures your energy, and that's what we got in this cheesecake. Feeling tired? Sad? Unloved? Unhappy?
I mean, even without the magic, cheesecake can help with that. Moderately.
But with the magic, it's all the better. You have that lemon assisting in purifying you of those icky emotions and energizing your spirit, and the orange adding a little sprinkle of luck and prosperity to pick you up, as well as cozy potato to help heal your mind and body, vanilla to remind you that you're loved and deserve to be loved, this is the meal for a grand old time.
Elements of water, earth, and fire, as well as planets Venus, the Moon, and the Sun, encourage you to step right into the balance you've been missing and ground back in reality. It'll help bring you into the state of mind for heightened intuition and creativity, as well as a brightness, a softness, so you can remember all the peace you deserve to have in your life. Who knew cheesecake could help do that?
From Laura and Peter Zeranski's Polish Desserts
Prep time: 30 minutes
Cook time: 2 hours
Makes 4-6 Servings
1 1/2 cups plain breadcrumbs
1/2 cup sugar
1/3 cup butter, melted
1 1/2 lbs whole milk ricotta
4 egg yolks
4 egg whites, whipped stiff
3/4 light cream
1 cup sugar
1/3 cup flour
1 tsp vanilla extract
zest of 1 orange
1 tsp lemon extract or 1/2 tsp lemon zest
2 Tbsp lemon juice
1 cup mashed potatoes
Peel, dice, and boil your potatoes (about 1-2 small/medium ones).
Mix the crust ingredients and spread on the bottom of a springform pan, then pre-bake at 350 for 8 minutes.
Beat together cheese with egg yolks and half the cream.
Add sugar, flour, vanilla, lemon, orange, and beat until combined.
Add mashed potatoes and beat again.
Whip egg whites, then fold into the cheese mixture.
Pour cheese mixture into pre-baked crust, then bake at 325 for 1 hour and 15 minutes.
Turn off the oven and leave the cheesecake inside with the oven door partially opened for another hour.
Let the cheesecake cool completely, then dust with powdered sugar before serving.
This is a delicious recipe, and if you want more like this, definitely consider getting Laura and Peter's book! I'm going to have a blast trying out their recipes, especially as we get deeper into the harvest season.