Food: Curd Cheese Casserole - The Lyorn's Den
Tue Feb. 18th, 2014
09:39 am - Food: Curd Cheese Casserole
(I call it a casserole here, but it's halfway to a soufflé: it rises on beaten egg whites, but it does not use a milk/egg yolk custard as a base.)
I am getting lots of fresh eggs from free-range chickens at the moment (big, strong chickens that chase off the farm cats if the cats happen to be in their way), so I've been looking into recipes that need lots of eggs.
After a less-than-succesful cheesecake where the soft wheat semolina was too al dente, and the whole thing lost all volume overnight, I tried something which would not get the chance to collapse at cooling and would give the semolina sufficient time and heat. So:
Curd Cheese Casserole
Make seminola pudding: Bring to boil 750 ml of full-fat milk, with the grated peel of a lemon and a good pinch of salt (as much as a quarter tablespoon). Take off the heat and stir in 150g of soft wheat seminola. Let it cool, stir occasionally.
I wanted some fruit in it, so I drained a large (800ml) can of peach halves, caught the syrup (we'll come to that later), and diced the peaches.
You could use any other fruit. Apricots, plums or cherries are typical. Berries would be fine -- you can put them in frozen. Dried fruit will do, but dice and/or pre-soak them. If you use pears or apples, stew them for a few minutes with some sugar, a bit of butter and just enough water, juice, or liquor to last them through 3 to 5 minutes of stewing before using them. 300 to 500 grams of fruit should do.
Heat the oven to 200°C and butter a casserole dish of at least 3 litres volume.
Beat six egg whites and a pinch of salt until you can cut it with a knife, this takes about ten minutes (two on medium low until it starts to whiten, six on medium high until it is creamy, two on high). Yeah for the food processor.
Beat six egg yolks, 110 grams of sugar (I used half muscovado and half caster sugar), and 75 grams of room temperature butter with a hand mixer on medium high until it becomes lighter in colour and creamy.
Add 375 grams of curd cheese (I used medium fat, and as I did not have the Austrian one ("Topfen") I had let it drain in a sieve overnight) and the seminola pudding. Works best if you put in 1/3 of both, stir, repeat, until all is in. Stir on medium until it is only somewhat lumpy.
Then fold in the egg whites (also in three parts).
Half of the mass goes in the dish, then a layer of diced peaches. Then the rest. Sprinkle with brown sugar and put some small lumps of butter on top (I used about a tablespoon of sugar and 25 grams of butter.)
Put in the oven on a low rung and bake for 40 minutes.
Meanwhile, prepare the sauce. Pour the syrup from the peaches into a pot and add milk to give you 450 ml of fluid. (If you do not have syrup because you used fresh fruit, use only milk). Mix 40 grams of starch with 20-30 grams of sugar (more if you have no syrup) and some vanilla sugar or extract or what-have-you. Pour about 50 ml cold milk or water on it and stir until dissolved and not-lumpy. Bring the milk/syrup to a boil, take the pot off the heat and beat in the starch-sugar-mix. During cooling, beat occasionally to avoid a skin forming on top. Pour in a jug.
Serve everything hot.
This serves six. It's medium-sweet, even with the fruit, and considered a main dish in Germany. To balance it somewhat, you might serve a salad as a starter.
Variants: If you can't have wheat, the recipe should work just fine with polenta. If you want to do something savory with curd cheese, replace the seminola pudding with mashed potatoes and the sugar with grated cheese, and the fruit with veggies to taste.
BTW, while I was trying to translate cooking terms, I happened on this: Cooking for Engineers: Dark Chocolate Soufflé.
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