This isn't the usual type of cheesecake. It's lighter and not quite so sweet - actually more like a Danish. This one, my mother says, can be served warm.
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
6 tbsp butter, softened
1/2 cup granulated sugar
3 egg yolks
2 to 4 tbsp milk, orange juice or water
500 g cottage cheese
250 g cream cheese
1 cup granulated sugar
1 tsp vanilla
3 egg whites
1/2 cup raisins, (optional)
First make the crust. In a food processor, or in a large bowl with an electric mixer, combine the flour, baking powder, butter, sugar, egg yolks and 2 tbsp. (30mL) of whatever liquid you're using, and mix until it begins to hold together as a dough. Add remaining liquid, 1 tbsp. (15mL) at a time, until the dough is soft and easy to handle. Remove about 1/3 of the dough and set it aside. Have your child press the rest of the dough with (clean) hands evenly into the bottom and slightly up the sides of a 9 x 13-in. (22 x 33 cm) baking pan.
Now make the filling. Dump all the filling ingredients except the egg whites and optional raisins into a food processor or blender and mix until smooth. Pour out into a large mixing bowl. Separately, with an electric mixer, beat the egg whites until stiff, then gently fold into the cheese mixture. Turn this mixture evenly into the crust in the baking pan. If you want to use raising (a classic touch, but not appreciated by certain persons who shall remain nameless) sprinkle them onto the top of the cheese.
Finally, take the reserved dough and roll it out by hand into long, thin snakey ropes - about - in. (1/2 cm) thick. Lay these in a criss-cross pattern onto the top of the cheese mixture in the pan. Use up all the dough - don't worry about attaching them to the sides, just let the ropes lie there on the surface.
Bake at 350F (180C) for 50 minutes to 1 hour, until puffed and lightly browned on top.
Delicious warm or cool, and it freezes well.
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