Adapted from InterFrance.com
From the Alsace region of France, this recipe is not so sweet as what you may be used to in a cheesecake. This is typical of a lot of French desserts. The key ingredient in this French cheesecake recipe is fromage blanc. This is a very popular dairy product in France and it is becoming more readily available around the world. You can substitute drained ricotta cheese.
For the dough:
1 1/3 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup cold margarine
1 tablespoon vegetable shortening
1 tablespoon fine sugar
Pinch of salt
1/4 cup cold water
For the filling:
1 lb fromage blanc or 16 oz ricotta cheese, drained
1/3 cup heavy cream or crème fraiche
3 eggs at room temperature
2/3 cup fine sugar*
3 1/2 Tbsp corn starch
pinch of salt
Powdered sugar (optional)
Prepare the pastry dough: In a large bowl, blend with your fingers the flour, sugar, margarine, vegetable shortening and salt until mixture resembles fine bread crumbs. Add gradually the cold water, mixing until a crumbly dough begins to form, but do not overwork the dough. If the dough is crumbly add more water. If it is wet and sticky, sprinkle over a little more flour. Form the dough into a ball, dust it with flour and chill it, wrapped in wax paper, for 1 hour.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 C). Butter a 9--inch deep-sided ovenproof tart pan. On lightly floured board roll the pastry dough into a circle, and line the plate with it. Prick the bottom of the pastry shell all over with a fork and chill for 10 mnutes before baking.
Wash and dry the lemon and grate the rind in a bowl. Add and mix together the drained cheese, the cream, 3 egg yolks, corn starch, and sugar.
Beat the egg whites with a pinch of salt to the stiff-peak stage and fold them gently into the cheese mixture with a spatula.
Pour the filling into the pastry shell and smooth the surface with a spatula. Bake for 40 minutes or until the filling is puffed and golden. Let the tart cool before serving.
To serve, sprinkle with powdered sugar.
Makes 8 servings.
*can use a mixture of sugar and vanilla sugar
Recipes: Desserts, Cheesecake, French, Dairy, Kosher