This was my mother’s recipe and a firm family favourite because it is cheesey but light and not overly sweet.
Preparation: 45 mins
Cooking: 1 hour 20 mins
For the pastry:
3 tbsp sugar
Pinch of salt
1½ tsp baking powder
1 egg beaten
100ml sour cream
For the filling:
250g curd or ricotta cheese
250g cream cheese/mascarpone
4 eggs separated
50ml double cream
1 lemon, zest and juice
1 heaped tbsp flour
pinch of salt
For the pastry: put the dry ingredients into a bowl. Rub in the butter until the mixture resembles fine crumbs.
Add the egg and enough sour cream to make a firm dough.
Refrigerate for at least half an hour.
Preheat oven to 200°C.
Roll out and line a 23cm spring-form tin.
Prick the dough with a fork to prevent it rising.
Line the dough with foil and place some baking beans on top. l Place more foil around the top of the tin so the edges are covered and do not burn.
Bake for about 20 minutes until the pastry is cooked through and there are no greasy patches on the bottom.
Allow to cool before filling.
Turn oven down to 140°C.
While the pastry is cooking, prepare the filling:
Place all the cheese in a large mixing bowl.
Add the cream and mix to combine — but do not overmix.
Mix the egg yolks, sugar, lemon zest and juice with the cheese mixture.
Add the flour and pinch of salt to the mixture and blend in.
In a clean dry bowl, beat the egg whites until stiff and fold them gently into the cheese mixture.
Pour this mixture onto the pre-baked pastry.
Bake for about 1 hour and then turn off the oven leaving the cake inside for a further hour.
After an hour remove and cool to room temperature before serving.
Rosalind Rathouse is the owner of Cookery School