Modern Polish Cheesecake (Sernik)


Modern Polish Cheesecake (Sernik)

Ingredients

Crust:

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

Filling:

8 ounces butter (room-temperature)
2 cups sugar (confectioners')​
2 pounds ricotta (or dry curd or farmer's cheese)
8 large eggs (room temperature, separated)
2 tablespoons flour (all-purpose, heaping tablespoons)
1 tablespoon cornstarch (heaping)
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Steps to Make It

The Crust

Crush 1 pound shortbread cookies in a food processor. If using graham cracker crumbs, add 1/4 cup sugar.


While the processor is running, pour 2 tablespoons melted butter through the food chute until crumbs begin to clump together.

Pat crumbs into the bottom only of a 13x9-inch or a 10-inch springform pan. Place in refrigerator while you prepare the filling.

The Filling

Heat 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.

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.

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.

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.

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.