Last weekend was a long weekend here, since 21st was ‘Navruz’ and we got holiday on 20th as well!! It is considered as 1st day of Spring and one of the biggest celebration in Uzbekistan. They celebrate it by making sweets & Uzbek Plov (Pilaf) and share with friends and relatives. The most important and special of those are preparing “Sumalak”,very nutritious thick porridge consistency, creamy kind of thing, made out of sprouted wheat and cooked over night!! Its a bit lengthy process ( i heard that process start some what a week before) ,but you will get very tasty and rich Sumalak.I have never seen its process and never tried making it as well. Every year my hubby’s colleague/friends used to send me a bottle full of “Sumalak” which is prepared specially on this day by them. Which is very tasty and healthy as well. They believe that if you had sumalak by start of spring,you won’t get sick during coming months and stay healthy though out summer. You can read more about Navrus here and Sumalak here. Happy belated Navruz everyone!!
As some of you who knows me well,knew that I have a very big sweet tooth. If someone offering me something sweet and savory, I would for sure opt for the dessert/sweet without any doubt. Baking and making something sweet makes me really happy. At the same time, my hubby Jaan even though he likes sweets and chocolates, intentionally he used to avoid it. But when I made this cheesecake, he really loved it and gone for the second time because this dessert is not overly sweet.
I was so excited to try this cheesecake pie. Not added any sweetener in the pie crust. So the dessert really balanced the sweetness.Dulce De leche (cooked condensed milk) really gives caramelly and rich taste to the dessert. My favorite nuts almonds gave the crust nuttiness. You probably would have come across my love for this tasty nuts in my recipes like Coconut Condensed milk almond Cake , Healthy Dry Fruits Cake , Financiers Cupcake, Almond Muhallabia (Middle Eastern Ground rice & Almond Pudding). Here is one savory dish with almond Chicken Korma/Kurma with Almonds & Sesame ;).
I used farmer’s cheese, because which is available here very easily and cheaply. You could for sure substitute ricotta cheese/cream cheese.
This is not a complicated recipe, you can also make this a day ahead or only pie crust dough can be prepared a night before you prepare the dessert and cheesecake part can be done the next day as well (thats what I have done).
Lets see the recipe…….
For the pie crust :-
- All purpose flour – 3/4 cup
- Ground almond – 1/4 cup (toasted) + more for garnishing
- Farmers cheese/Cream cheese – 1/4 cup
- Egg yolk – 1
- Cold butter – 3 table spoon
- Salt – a pinch
- Cold milk – 2 tea spoon
For the cheesecake filling
- Farmer’s cheese/cream cheese – 3/4 cup
- Fresh cream – 3 table spoon
- Dulce De leche – 5 table spoon (more or less to taste)
- Egg – 1
- Almond extract – 2 to 3 drops
- Vanilla Extract – 2 tea spoon
- Salt – a pinch
For pie crust:-
- Break the farmers cheese using a fork or food processor really well (farmer’s cheese are little crumbly)
- Toast and grind the almonds.
- Take all the ingredients for the pie crust except milk in a bowl, and keep it in the freezer for 5 to 10 minutes (all the ingredients has to be really cold for the better pie crust).
- Using a food processor or hand, mix in all the ingredients and make the dough. (Dough will be little sandy like texture, that’s how it should be). Add the milk if you feel the dough is too dry and need it to bind together. I added 2 tea-spoon, you may need more or less depends upon the flour used.
- Place the dough in an aluminium foil and make a disk and refrigerate it at least 1 to 1:30 hours or over night.
For Cheesecake filling :-
- In a food processor, add farmer’s cheese and fresh cream and process it until you get a smooth texture.
- In a bowl, take cream & cheese mixture and rest of the other ingredients for the cheese cake filling.
- Using a hand mixer, combine it really well until smooth. Add the dulce de leche, as per your taste.
- Please take care while adding almond extract, because it has very strong flavor and over doing it will spoil your dish.
- Preheat your oven at 180 ° C.
- Roll the prepared dough into 7-8″ round shape approximate.
- Place the dough over the dish (I used tart tin) and simply roll the rolling-pin over it (which helps to cut out the excess dough neatly).
- Pour the prepared cheesecake filling in it .
- Place it in the preheated oven and bake for 35 to 45 minutes. (Please check at 35 minutes, each oven may vary) until the centre of the cheesecake comes out clean.
- Not to worry when the cheesecake puff up, it will settle down when it cools down.
- Decorate it with ground almonds.
- It will be easier for you to Cut the cheesecake pie when it cools down completely.
Tips & Tricks :-
- You can substitute farmer’s cheese with ricotta/cream cheese or even indian cottage cheese (paneer). If using paneer, try to use home-made, usually store-bought used to be little more Tangier.
- I used tart tin for baking it, pie dish works best. (I don’t own a pie dish).