Hope for the 'ostkaka'

Swedish cheesecake - with very little in common with the American cheesecake  

  • The Swedish cheesecake (“ostkaka”) bears no resemblance to its American namesake. It was threatened (because of the unpasteurized dairy in it), but it seems it will continue to thrive—to the delight of all of us who like to have it for dessert!
  • There’s still hope for the Swedish cheesecake (”ostkaka”), in spite of the fact that Livsmedelsverket (the National Food Agency) wanted to ban the sales of unpasteurized milk because of the e.coli bacteria. ”When it comes to ’ostkaka’ there’s no risk for bacteria, since it is heated the same way as pasteurized milk,” said Stig Orustfjord, Director General of Livsmedelsverket. A Swedish cheesecake has very little in common with the one eaten in America. Though ”ost” means cheese, the dessert is in reality a curd cake, with roots in two different parts of Sweden: Hälsingland and Småland. The Swedish ”ostkaka” has a firm consistency and creamy, almondy taste. It is eaten lukewarm with jam and whipped cream. An ”ostkaka” should never be consumed too warm since the delicate flavors will not come through then, and if served too cold, the consistency will be too firm and heavy. If you want to try to make one at home, here’s a simplified recipe by Mikael Zayenz Lagerkvist found on shesimmers.com, as the original calls for rennet, not so common in modern kitchens.

  • Ostkakan from Frödinge; one of the most well-known dessert brands in Sweden. Procordia Foods and Frödinge.
  • 'Enkel ostkaka'
    Easy Swedish 'cheese cake' Serves 6-8
    Ingredients: 750 g (or 1.7 lbs) cottage cheese, strained. It’s best to use half whole-milk small-curd cottage cheese and half whole-milk ricotta cheese.
    4 large eggs
    ¼ cup sugar
    ¼ cup flour
    ½ cup almond meal
    3-4 bitter almonds (these are banned in the US as they contain hydrocyanic acid, making them poisonous. (You have to eat a lot of bitter almonds in one sitting, though, to suffer from the cyanide effect.) Apricot kernels can be used as a substitute. Otherwise, add a tablespoon of Amaretto to the batter to mimic the distinct flavor of bitter almond.
    1. Beat eggs until fluffy. Stir in sugar, flour, and strained cottage cheese/ricotta. Add the almonds. Pour into a buttered 9X13” pan preferably flat. Bake in oven at 425F for one hour (cover with tin-foil when starting to brown).
    You want to let the cheesecake cool until luke warm before serving as that is when it tastes the best.

  • Ostkakan from Frödinge; one of the most well-known dessert brands in Sweden. Procordia Foods and Frödinge.
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