Many years ago, my friend Ilana shared a recipe for an absolutely delicious cheese pie. It became traditional for us to have it of the festival of Shavuoth when it is customary to eat dairy. We also have it often for the breaking of the fast for Yom Kippur.
Over the years, I have changed the recipe- substituting whole wheat flour for white, using lower fat cheese and substituting greek yogurt for sour cream. I may have even played with the measurements a little…it’s been so many years that I don’t even remember! Meanwhile, with all of these adjustments and substitutions, there have been no complaints and back in the day when we used to have people over for the holidays, the cheese pie was always a hit!
We sometimes have it as our main dish, and at other times it is a dessert. It can be eaten hot or cold and is best served with a dollop of greek yogurt (or sour cream) and berries.
This morning I shared how to make this cheese pie with my online cooking class with the Cummings Centre. It inspired me to put it all into a blog post to share with you as well. It would make for a great dish to serve if you celebrate Shavuoth, or even to enjoy on Mother’s Day 🙂
As for the big question of whether it should be served as a main dish or dessert…I’ll leave that to you to decide!
1 ½ c. cornflake crumbs ( or enough cornflakes to make 1.5c. crumbs)
1 c. whole wheat flour
½ tsp baking soda
¼ tsp salt
½ c canola oil
¾ c. brown sugar
3/8 c sugar
500 g pressed cottage cheese (can substitute low-fat Ricotta)
¾ c. Greek yogurt
1 tsp vanilla
2 Tbsp whole wheat flour
1 tsp lemon juice
Additional Greek yogurt
Berries (any berry or combination of your choosing!) – If you don’t have fresh, you can use frozen & thawed
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees
- Spray a 7 x 11 baking dish. (Note you can also use an 8 x 8 or 8 x 11 baking dish which will yield a somewhat larger but thinner and equally delicious pie. I prefer to use a glass baking dish as the layers are nice to see through the sides of the dish, but this it is not necessary).
- If making your own cornflake crumbs, place in a large Ziploc bag, remove air and crush with your hands. If you have a rolling pin handy, use it to roll over the flakes and crumbs in the bag to get an even finer result. Some ‘flakes’ may not be completely broken down into fine crumbs, this is perfectly fine.
- In a large bowl, mix together all the ingredients for the crust.
- In a seperate large bowl, mix together all of the ingredients for the filling. I like to use a potato masker to get the crumble the cottage cheese and to mash everything together. You could also use an electric mixer.
- Set aside 1 to 1.5 c. of the crust mixture. ( If using a larger baking dish, set aside 1 ¼ or 1 ½ c. If using a 7 x 11 baking dish, 1 c. will be enough. This will be the topping.
- Pour the remaining crust mixture into the baking dish and press it evenly throughout the dish to form a crust. it should be packed down tightly and evenly.
- Pour the cheese filling over the crust and spread evenly with a spatula
- Sprinkle the topping that you has set aside over the filling. Do this slowly and carefully, trying to cover as much of the filling as possible. if some areas of white show through, try to redirect excess topping from places where you may have sprinkled too much. If there are still small areas of white peeking through, don’t worry about it 🙂
- Bake at 375 degrees for 50-65 minutes. Baking time will depend on your oven as well as the thickness of your pie. You will know your pie is done when the crust is golden brown. If using a glass baking dish, you can also observe the bottom crust- if it is a very dark brown, make sure to remove your pie from the oven so that it does not burn!
- Allow to cool 10-15 minutes before serving
- Serve with Greek yogurt and berries
NOTE: Serves 8 larger slices or 15 ‘brownie size’ pieces