Modern Polish Cheesecake (Sernik)

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Modern Polish Cheesecake (Sernik)

Modern Polish Cheesecake (Sernik)

Ingredients

Crust:

  • 1 pound shortbread cookies or graham crackers (if using the latter, add 1/4 cup sugar)
  • 2 tablespoons melted butter

Filling:

  • 8 ounces room-temperature butter
  • 1 cup + 1 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 2 pounds dry curd or farmer’s cheese or ricotta
  • 8 large room-temperature eggs, separated
  • 2 heaping tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 heaping tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1 level tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

Directions

Make the Crust

  1. Crush 1 pound shortbread cookies in a food processor. If using graham cracker crumbs, add 1/4 cup sugar.
  2. While the processor is running, pour 2 tablespoons melted butter through the food chute until crumbs begin to clump together.
  3. Pat crumbs into the bottom only of a 13×9-inch or a 10-inch springform pan. Place in refrigerator while you prepare the filling.

Make the Filling

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a medium bowl, cream together 8 ounces room-temperature butter and 1 cup confectioners’ sugar until light and fluffy, then add 1 pound of the cheese, mixing thoroughly. Set aside.
  2. In a separate large bowl, combine 8 large room-temperature egg yolks with remaining 1 cup confectioners’ sugar and remaining 1 pound of cheese until well blended.
  3.  Add cheese-butter mixture to cheese-egg yolk mixture and beat until smooth. Sprinkle in 2 heaping tablespoons all-purpose flour, 1 heaping tablespoon cornstarch, 1 level tablespoon baking powder and 1 teaspoon vanilla, and mix until well incorporated.
  4. In a clean, grease-free bowl, beat the 8 large room-temperature egg whites until medium-stiff peaks form. Fold into cheese mixture, preserving as much volume as possible.
  5. Remove prepared pan from refrigerator, place on a baking sheet. Fill pan with cheese batter. Bake 50 to 60 minutes or until golden brown and puffy, and center is just slightly jiggly. Cool completely on a wire rack, then refrigerate until ready to serve.
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