Mrs. Kostyra's Country Cheesecake
Long an Easter favorite in the Kostyra family, this sweet, creamy dessert is made with farmer cheese instead of cream cheese. Mild and slightly tangy, farmer cheese is a soft cheese from which most of the liquid has been slowly pressed; it retains much of its moisture because of the slowness of the pressing process.
For the Dough
- 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
- 1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
- 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 4 tablespoons chilled unsalted butter, cut into pieces
- 3 large egg yolks
- 3 tablespoons sour cream
- Ice water, if necessary
For the Filling
- 4 large eggs
- 1 large egg white
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1 1/2 pounds farmer cheese, passed through the fine filter of a food mill
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- Grated zest of 1 orange
- Grated zest of 1 lemon
- 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup golden raisins
Make the dough: Into a large bowl, sift together flour, confectioners' sugar, baking powder, and salt. Repeat sifting. Cut in butter until the mixture resembles coarse meal. In a small bowl, stir egg yolks into sour cream, then stir into the flour mixture just until a dough forms. If the dough is a little dry, it may be necessary to add a few drops of ice water. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface, and knead until dough forms a ball and holds it shape. Wrap in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 1 hour.
Make the filling: In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine eggs and egg white. Beat on medium until thick and light in color, about 2 minutes. Gradually add granulated sugar, beating to combine. Add cheese, sour cream, orange and lemon zests, vanilla, and raisins; mix thoroughly.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees with rack in center. Lightly butter a 10-inch springform pan. Roll dough into a circle about 15 inches in diameter and 1/8 inch thick. Fit into prepared pan. Trim dough to about 1/2 inch below rim of pan. Crimp edges.
Pour filling into pan, and place in oven. Bake until set in center, 50 to 60 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.