Ukrainian cheesecake is called syrnyk. Syr is cheese in Ukrainian. It's a different consistency and has a different base than the cheesecake most of us are familiar with. It's a little firmer, leaning towards the cake part of it's name with a dough crust instead of graham crackers. It is usually baked in a rectangular pan and cut into squares. It can be eaten with fingers or if your fancy a fork. :) It is not usually topped with anything.
The plan is between my step-daughter Ashley who loves to bake, my son Olyn who wants to be a chef and me, that we can test each recipe and let you know how it goes. If you test it before we do, let me know how it turns out! I am so thankful for the Ukrainian Recipes facebook page who have been helping me navigate and translate these recipes.
So here it is:
Recipe #1 Baba Malania's Syrnyk - Ukrainian Style Cheesecake
6 egg whites, whipped (to soft peaks)
6 egg yolks
1 cup (granulated) sugar
2 cups cheese (usually farmers cheese)
1 package (8 oz.) Philadelphia brand cream cheese
4 tablespoons cornstarch
Zest of 1 lemon
Cheesecake Dough Base:
1 cup flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
½ cup/4 tablespoons/1/2 stick Crisco shortening
2 tablespoons sugar
Pinch of salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
6 tablespoons milk
1. Whisk the dough base dry ingredients together.
2. Whisk the dough base wet ingredients together.
3. Combine the wet and dry dough ingredients together, form a ball, spread dough evenly into bottom of greased rectangular baking pan.
4. Pre-bake (blind-bake) the dough, remove from oven, cool. (Do not fully bake dough as it will still continue slow baking another hour with filing)
5. Prepare cheesecake filing. Whip egg whites until soft peaks, set aside.
6. Beat egg yolks with sugar until light, then add remaining filing ingredients, continue beating until smooth and light. Add in the egg whites gently until incorporated.
7. Spread over cooled, pre-baked dough.
8. Bake an hour at 250-300 degrees F.