This Swedish dessert is a favorite at our house during the Christmas season, and has been passed down in my family for several generations.
The name ostkaka can be roughly translated as “cheesecake” – “ost” meaning “cheese” and “kaka” meaning “cake.” But the dessert is a bit different from American cheesecake, not quite as sweet and with a slightly different texture.
To make it, older generations of my family used curdled milk, produced by adding rennet to a mixture of warm milk and flour. They then added heavy cream, sugar and eggs to make a batter. My parents’ generation simplified the recipe, using cottage cheese in place of curdled milk, and it tastes the same (at least to me). Needless to say, the latter version is much easier to make.
Over the years, my mother and I developed a few additional recipe adjustments to accommodate diabetes and other dietary restrictions. I use fat-free cottage cheese, substitute egg beaters for the eggs, substitute half and half or even whole lactose-free milk for the heavy cream, and replace sugar with an equivalent amount of sugar substitute. Rice flour can be used to make the recipe gluten free. The result is still delicious.
Our family likes to serve the ostkaka with lingonberries, but if these prove hard to find, strawberry jam or sliced strawberries can also be used.
- 4 eggs or 1/2 cup egg beaters
- 3 cups fat-free cottage cheese
- 2 cups half & half or whole milk
- 1/3 cup regular or rice flour
- 1 teaspoon vanilla or almond extract
- Sweetener equivalent to 1/2 cup sugar
- Lingonberries, strawberry jam or sliced strawberries
Blend together the eggs, sweetener, cream or milk, flour and extract until smooth.
Stir in the cottage cheese until well-blended and pour the mixture into a cake pan.
Bake in a 350-degree oven for an hour, or until it rises a bit and is slightly brown on top.
Allow the dessert to cool at least four hours or overnight in the refrigerator.
Top each individual serving with about a tablespoon of lingonberries, strawberry jam or sliced strawberries.
My version, made with egg beaters, whole milk and sugar substitute, topped with a tablespoon of lingonberries.
Serving size: 3/4 cup | Calories: 120 | Carbohydrates: 14 g | Protein: 10 g | Fat: 2 g | Saturated Fat: 1 g | Cholesterol: 13 mg | Sodium: 300 mg | Potassium: 240 mg | Fiber: 1 g | Sugar: 9 g | Vitamin A: 9% | Vitamin C: 0% | Calcium: 17% | Iron: 1%