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Course: Sweets
Keyword: cottage cheese

Cottage Cheese Cheesecakes

ACTIVE TIME: 15 minutes
TOTAL TIME: 1 hour 25 minutes
Yield: 6 servings
Something about the soft caress of lemon in our cottage cheese got my in my mouth and whispered (yes you can hear whispers inside your head), "cheesecake me." So, we did, and now it's my favorite cheesecake of pretty much ever. I know, you're thinking it'll be lumpy. But no. The curds simply dissolve leaving a kind of velvet lightness. I prefer it plain but a topping of one or two luxardo cherries, with a bit of their syrup wouldn't be a bad thing if you happen to have a jar on hand.
Photo by Lynne Calamia
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For the Crust:

  • 9 whole graham crackers
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

For the Filling:

  • 1 1/2 cups cottage cheese
  • 3/4 cup full-fat sour cream (cultured if you can find it)
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 whole egg
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Specialized Hardware

Food processor
6 8-ounce oven safe ramekins
Stand mixer
Instant-read thermometer
ACTIVE TIME: 15 minutes
TOTAL TIME: 1 hour 25 minutes
Yield: 6 servings


  • Crank your oven to 350 F and place a rack in the middle position.
  • Break up the graham crackers in your food processor's work bowl and add the sugar. Lid up and pulse until the crackers are mostly broken down, ten - 1 second pulses. Drizzle in the butter, then pulse 5 more times to fully incorporate. Distribute the crumbs into six 8-ounce ramekins (about 3 tablespoons each), and tamp evenly with a small glass (a shot glass works well), while allowing some crumb to creep up the sides.
  • Place ramekins on a half sheet pan and bake for 15 minutes, then remove to a trivet or cooling rack while you fabricate the filling.
  • Combine the cottage cheese and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, Beat on medium speed for 5 minutes, scraping the bowl down halfway through. Add the sour cream, lemon zest, and lemon juice and beat 30 seconds, then reduce the speed a notch and add the egg and yolks, one at a time, followed by the vanilla. Keep beating until just combined.
  • Line a 9 x 13-inch baking dish with a clean kitchen towel, place the cooled ramekins inside, and spoon the batter evenly among them. Bring about 4 cups of water to a boil (we like an electric kettle for this).
  • Pull the oven rack out and park the pan containing the ramekins in the middle then gently pour the water into the baking dish, taking care not to splash any inside the batter. The water should come halfway up the ramekins. Carefully slide the rack back in and bake for 25 minutes, or until your favorite instant-read thermometer reads the filling at 165 F.
  • Carefully extract the cheesecakes from their water bath (spring loaded tongs make quick work of this) and cool on a dry kitchen towel for 30 minutes before moving to the fridge to chill. Consume, or cover with plastic wrap and keep refrigerated for up to a week.
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