This French cheesecake recipe comes from Alsace, where it is called Käsküeche. It is a light and not-too-sweet tart made from fromage blanc, beaten eggs and a little lemon. This recipe is traditionally prepared with a pie crust rather than the cookie crumb crust seen on many cheesecakes.
The key ingredient in this French cheesecake recipe is fromage blanc. This is a very popular dairy product here in France and it is becoming more readily available around the world. Don't confuse it with fromage frais, a category of cheeses that includes fromage blanc, but other products as well. If you can't find fromage blanc, you can substitute some brands of quark.
Prep time: 15 minutes (not including crust preparation or warming the egg whites)
Bake time: 40 min
* A slightly sweetened pâte brisée crust goes well with this.
Before you try this French cheesecake recipe, consider that it is not so sweet as what you may be used to in a cheesecake. This is typical of a lot of French desserts, which can be surprisingly light on the sugar especially for those of us with over stimulated sugar receptors.
I frequently hear French people complain when things are too sweet, so they definitely have a different perspective. They would probably like the recipe with a little less sugar (1/2 cup), so I included that as an option. It can actually be quite nice to give the sugar beast a little break, but it's also nice to know what to expect before you serve this.
Alsace is a French region that borders on Germany and many times cooking traditions overlap between the two countries. This is the case with Käsküeche, and you are likely to find families from both countries with their own treasured version of this recipe. It is interesting to note that in a region known for its substantial cuisine that desserts tend to be more subtle - spice bread, fruit tarts, and kouglof are some favorites. Learn more here: Food of Alsace.
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