Krakow, Poland – Every month, Kafkadesk brings you the best recipes from Central Europe, straight from the kitchen of our very own Chef Paulina Kotkowska. What’s on the menu today? Her very own Babcia’s Sernik, the Polish cheesecake.
As a Catholic country, Poland takes its Easter celebrations very seriously. It is as, if not more, important than Christmas. And, as always, you can’t have a proper Central European celebration without a large table filled to brim with delicious food!
Sernik is one of the most common desserts served in Polish restaurants and at home. You can find endless numbers of recipes, more or less dry, with or without a base, plain or with fruits inside.
And there is no Easter meal without a good slice of sernik to finish it! “Ser” means cheese in Polish, hence the Polish word for cheesecake. In Poland, sernik is made with a cheese named twaróg, a special kind of dry curd cheese.
Yields: 10 servings
Preparation time: 45 min
- 1kg fresh dry curd cheese (a fresh non-fat cheese that’s not too liquid)
- 300g icing sugar
- 100g room-temperature butter
- 5 room-temperature eggs
- 250g potatoes cooked the day before
- 10g vanilla sugar
- 2 Tbsp all-purpose flour
- Crack the eggs, separate yolks from egg whites.
- Beat egg yolks, sugar, vanilla sugar and butter in a bowl. Stir well to obtain a smooth and fluffy mixture.
- Mash the potatoes with the fresh cheese.
- Add the first mixture with the egg yolks. Stir well together. Dust with flour while stiring.
- Heat the oven to 180°C.
- Add a pinch of salt to the egg whites and beat them to stiff peaks. Carefully add them to the mixture.
- Place all your mixture into a springform cake tin, previously buttered and dusted with flour or covered with baking paper.
- Bake for one hour, until it has raised and it’s lightly browned.
- Turn oven off and let cool with door ajar.
- Cool well before removing it from the tin.
- Dust the cake with icing sugar and serve cool.
Poles usually add raisins and orange peels into the cake. You can add them at the end after mixing the egg whites into the mixture (step 6).
It’s not easy to find a good dry curd cheese for this recipe. To make things easier, you can replace it with 750g of ricotta and 350g of mascarpone. If you choose this option, don’t add the butter and the cooked potatoes. And if you find a cheese that’s a bit too liquid, you can add a little more flour or cooked potatoes.
Sernik can be kept around 4-5 days after in the fridge.
Smacznego i Wesołych Świąt!
Don’t forget to check out Chef Kotkowska’s other recipes such as Pierogi ruskie, the Polish delight, of course, but also Chłodnik, the Eastern gazpacho, Liptauer, the Slovak-Hungarian cheese spread, Bryndzové halušky, the Slovak sheep cheese gnocchi, Lečo, the traditional tomato-based stew; and many more…